Michael Jordan is one of, if not the most, recognizable figure in the world. Jordan came into the NBA in the 1980s and completely took the sport over by storm. Jordan became one of basketball's first transcendent figures.
Jordan was no longer looked at as just a basketball figure but as a pop culture icon. This kind of fame made it difficult for MJ to lead a normal life, as everyone wanted to approach him and interact with His Airness.
Jordan was spotted on a luxurious yacht while on vacation in Croatia last year. He was even approached by some rabid fans on a nearby boat and even turned down the music on his yacht to say hi to them. Anytime Jordan is spotted in public, it becomes a news story for the entire world because he lives such a reclusive lifestyle.
With this level of popularity even during his career, it must have been difficult for Jordan to find some solace. But not impossible, as MJ revealed.
In an interview, Michael Jordan was asked whether there was a place, perhaps outside the United States, where he could walk around and not be recognized or bothered by hysterical fans.
Michael Jordan revealed that he would often travel to Paris, at least early in his career to escape the hectic lifestyle.
Jordan noted that he could live a fairly normal life in Paris, walk around and eat at a restaurant without being recognized or hounded by fans. Jordan really appreciated being able to lead that kind of simple life in Paris, and thus grew attached to the city.
“I used to go to Paris a lot cause Paris was a place I could just walk on the streets. I could sit down and have dinner or have lunch or whatever and people never really paid attention. I loved to do that. I just stayed outside out there. I wouldn’t want to go inside at all. I just loved sitting out and watching people.”
Jordan continued to grow in popularity even after the interview, so much so that he became a global icon. In fact, 'The Last Dance' docuseries actually captured the Bulls' 1998 pre-season visit to Paris, where Jordan was greeted by thousands of fans. So he was no longer unrecognizable in Paris.
Jordan's affection for Paris also translated to his business ventures, as the Jordan brand eventually became a sponsor for Paris Saint-Germain, the football club based in the city.
MJ has also been spotted at games in Paris, enjoying players like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe showcase their skills. Jordan, despite his popularity, is still a big fan of Paris as a city.