Skip to main content

Michael Jordan's Sons Explained How Chill And Cool Their Dad Was When He Wasn't Playing: “One Of The Biggest Misconceptions Was That He Couldn’t Turn That Competitiveness Off. He Definitely Could Turn It Off And Be A Dad. But When It Was On, It Was On.”

Michael Jordan's Sons Explained How Chill And Cool Their Dad Was When He Wasn't Playing: “One Of The Biggest Misconceptions Was That He Couldn’t Turn That Competitiveness Off. He Definitely Could Turn It Off And Be A Dad. But When It Was On, It Was On.”

As the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan has this big aura around him and mysticism about his life that some people don't understand. Well, when you're as great as MJ, privacy is an invaluable treasure, and the Chicago Bulls legend is well aware of that. 

Knowing how he managed himself on the court and how hard he used to be with teammates, many people had the concept that MJ was like that everywhere and with everybody. Truth is, he was nothing like that when he wasn't competing, and his family confirmed that many years ago. 

MJ welcomed three kids from his first marriage, Jasmine, Marcus, and Jeffrey, and these three have discussed how unique their father is and how normal their lives were while growing up. Contrary to what many thought, Jordan was just a regular dad and nothing else at home. 


Michael Jordan's Sons Explained How Cool The GOAT Is As A Father

During a 2007 interview with TODAY, His Airness opened up about his relationship with his kids and how he wanted them to create their own stories and be great in their own way. 

“I want him to be his own person, you know?” Jordan, 44, said as he sat next to his son in a rare interview with TODAY co-host Matt Lauer. “I want him to enjoy his life, whatever he chooses to be that, you know? If you play basketball, you're a doctor, you're a lawyer, whatever, I'm gonna support you with the love and every effort, every inch of my body.”

“He wants to be a basketball player, but he wants to do it on his own terms, which is all cool for me,” the six-time NBA champion said. “The thing that we have tried to tell Jeff is that you set your own expectations. By no means in this world can you ever live up to someone else's expectations of who you are.”

MJ did a good job protecting his kids from the spotlight, and they didn't realize that until they went to school. 

“I didn't realize who I was until probably second grade, third grade,” Jeffrey Jordan told Lauer. “Kids never really brought it up that much. I graduated from eighth grade in a class of, like, 30. The community wasn't really that big on popular culture. So growing up there, it wasn't too bad.”

Once he made it to high school, things took another dimension, and it was hard for him to believe it. 

“I think that was the first time I was really shocked by who I was and how big it was,” he said. “That was definitely the time where it really hit me all at once.”

A lot has been said about Jordan's competitiveness, and many wondered if he was the same when playing against his kids. Marcus once told CNN that when he wasn't playing, he was a regular dad, but he could activate his competitiveness at any time. 

“One of the biggest misconceptions was that he couldn’t turn that [competitiveness] off. He definitely could turn it off and be a dad. But when it was on, it was on.”

Speaking of competitiveness, Jordan would reveal that when he last played Jeffrey, he was winning but decided to call it a game and let his son get the win. 

He said he last played Jeff about a year ago. “I had the upper hand, and I quit,” he said.

“You quit?” Lauer asked incredulously.

“I did,” he said. “It got to the point with him and my youngest — they’re such competitors and so am I.”

He said he’s not as agile or quick as he used to be, and didn’t want to start losing, because when you accept losing, that’s what you do.

“Have you beaten him?” Lauer asked Jeff Jordan.

“I’ll put it on the record,” he replied. “Yes.”

“Ask him how many times,” his dad challenged Lauer before emphatically answering his own question: “Once.”

There are many stories about Michael Jordan's competitiveness, and there must be more that we don't know about. Still, that competitiveness was mostly reserved for his rivals and teammates. When he was at home, things were different, and his kids are very thankful for that.