Skip to main content

'Michael Jordan Canceled His Press Conference About His Return To The NBA Because They Were Up Playing Spades For 36 Hours Straight. They Were Down $900,000 At One Point,' Says Antoine Walker

'Michael Jordan Canceled His Press Conference About His Return To The NBA Because They Were Up Playing Spades For 36 Hours Straight. They Were Down $900,000 At One Point,' Says Antoine Walker

It's well known that Michael Jordan is an avid fan of gambling and he was always willing to put whatever amount of money on the table just to beat you. The Chicago Bulls legend wasn't safe from controversies during his playing days, with some conspiracy theories claiming the player actually retired in 1993 because the league suspended him for his gambling problems.

Well, that was never confirmed but the legend is there. Still, MJ never hid from that and he always talked about his love for gambling. If you add that to his competitive personality, you know you have something special yet dangerous in front of you. Boston Celtics legend Antoine Walker recently talked about this, revealing one big story about Jordan and how far he was willing to get to keep gambling.

During an appearance on the All Things Covered podcast (via CBSSports.com's Chris Bengel), Walker talked about this time when MJ spent 36 straight hours playing spades against two other men. At some point, they were behind $900K. That's how intense the session was.

"When Mike calls, the buy-in goes a little higher. Let me just start with that," Walker explained. "So it's gonna be a number put on that everybody got to bring to the table. I'd say probably $20,000. Gotta have 20 ... just to get in. You ain't got 20 to get in, you can't even play, so that starts that.

"And then Mike is competitive, man. I remember one time we played spades for 36 hours. We were playing against two other guys. Me and Mike were partners and ... they had us stuck, behind 900,000.

"What made it even more interesting, it was the day he actually was supposed to make his announcement he was officially coming back. He canceled the press conference, everything. We played for 36 hours, man."

If somebody needed some sort of confirmation of how serious MJ took this gambling stuff, now you have it. Walker even said he sent people to ask for more money and sat there for 36 hours to play spades. Classic Jordan, I suppose.