If you watched ESPN’s “The Last Dance” throughout April and May, you got a first hand look at the type of gambler Michael Jordan was and is. Money meant nothing to MJ. He gambled because he loved to compete and loved competition. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for 21 year-old Jamal Crawford when he was just entering the league. He wasn’t making big time money yet, but he also wasn’t one to back down from a challenge.
Apparently, when Jordan was a member of the Washington Wizards at 38 years-old, he was challenged by then rookie Jamal Crawford to a 3-point shootout. The prize was $1,000. Jordan won the first competition, but Crawford wanted more action. He upped the stakes to $5,000. Jordan accepted, but this time Crawford won. Jamal’s big mistake was not walking away.
Apparently after losing, MJ asked Crawford, “What car did you come here with?”
Jamal had rolled up in his new Mercedes he bought with his rookie bonus. MJ replied to him, “I came with a Ferrari, let’s bet our cars.” The bet went from $1,000 to $5,000 to cars valued at over $100,000. Even at 38 years-old, MJ got up for the challenge, went 5 for 5, and drove off with Crawford’s Mercedes. Classic MJ! Rookie Crawford learned a hard lesson from one of the greatest competitors of all time, and a notorious gambler.