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Celebѕ Who Cаn’t Stаnd Mіchael Jordаn

ichael Jordan is always one of the first names that comes up in the great NBA GOAT debate. The Chicago Bulls legend has earned the admiration and respect of other icons in the sports and entertainment world due to his talent and his toughness; according to Deadline, Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio was still declaring Jordan the king of the court in 2023. However, other celebs would be loath to praise the five-time MVP. On his way to winning six rings, he’s angered rivals, former teammates, and entertainers.

Jordan’s aggressiveness on the court reaped big dividends, but he sometimes got violent with his own teammates. While Will Perdue was able to shake off getting punched in the head by Jordan during practice, he told The New York Times that the Bulls’ morale improved after Jordan made his first attempt at retirement. Even Jordan’s friends have to be wary of him. According to an ESPN profile, he once grabbed a knife and sliced up half of Fred Whitfield’s wardrobe because the former Charlotte Hornets president had committed the cardinal sin of owning athletic apparel from a brand other than Nike.

Jordan can hold a grudge, too. In 2021, Kanye West told “Drink Champs” that “His Airness” was refusing to meet with him because he was angry with Ye for dissing Air Jordans in the 2015 song “Facts.” Ye might still be desperate to put their sneaker spat behind him despite the snub, but other celebs haven’t been as forgiving of MJ’s behavior.

Read more: Celebs Who Can’t Stand Ashton Kutcher

Scottie Pippen Piped Up About Michael Jordan’s Ego

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen sweating© Tom Smart/Getty Images

Together, Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan fashioned their own twin infinity gauntlets by winning half a dozen championships. But a matching set of hardware does not necessarily make a friendship last. Pippen has aired his grievances with Jordan a few times over the years, and one of his big criticisms of his fellow Hall of Famer is that he’s not a team player — off the court. In his memoir “Unguarded,” Pippen spills a great deal of ink while sharing his thoughts about Jordan’s involvement in the 2020 Chicago Bulls docuseries “The Last Dance.” Pippen believes that it was an exercise in self-aggrandizement for Jordan, who would only agree to participate in the project if he essentially got to control the narrative. “One of his stipulations was that he wanted the last word,” director Jason Hehir told Business Insider.

In his book, Pippen writes, “Each episode was the same: Michael on a pedestal, his teammates secondary, smaller.” Even when he’s praised by Jordan in “The Last Dance,” Pippen believes that it’s disingenuous. “I was nothing more than a prop. His ‘best teammate of all time,’ he called me,” Pippen recalls. “He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried.”

Pippen later took aim at Jordan’s prowess on the court as well. “He was a horrible player,” he said on Stacey King’s “Gimme the Hot Sauce” podcast in 2021. “He was horrible to play with. He was all one-on-one, he’s shooting bad shots.”

He Got No ‘California Love’ From Tupac

Tupac with arm extended out to side© Steve Eichner/Getty Images

In 2023, Make-A-Wish praised Michael Jordan for gifting the charitable organization with $10 million, the largest donation it has ever received. The money would help put a smile on the faces of many kids, but Jordan once got called out for not doing enough to make a difference in the lives of his youngest fans. In a 1992 MTV interview, Tupac suggested that Jordan’s actions would speak louder than his wallet. “I have never seen Michael Jordan in the ‘hood.’ Let’s see Jordan come down to the inner city, just a parking lot, and just shoot the ball with the kids,” he said (via Pinkvilla). “I bet you that would change their life.”

But maybe Jordan and kids aren’t the best mix. He was presented with an opportunity to make a lot of children happy in 2016 when he and fellow NBA great Chris Paul made a special appearance at a Flight School summer camp. Instead, Jordan’s behavior inspired the “F*** Them Kids” meme. Paul made a wager with Jordan: He would take three shots on the basketball court where the campers were gathered, and if he missed them, the kids would all get a pair of Air Jordans. Being the fierce competitor that he is, Jordan didn’t purposely brick the shots. Instead, he let the campers down by making every one of them. If Tupac were still around, we’re guessing he would not approve of this move.

Robert Parish Refused To Be Pushed Around

Robert Parish running© Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Robert Parish was among the former teammates Michael Jordan butted heads with during the Bulls’ glory days. He’d won three championships with the Boston Celtics before he came to Chicago in 1996, and the seasoned pro handled a charged moment with MJ like a matador. In an interview with ESPN, Parish recalled his reaction to Jordan chewing him out over a mistake he made during practice. “I told him, ‘I’m not as enamored with you as these other guys. I’ve got some rings too,'” said Parish. “At that point he told me, ‘I’m going to kick your a**.’ I took one step closer and said, ‘No, you really aren’t.’ After that he didn’t bother me.” However, the way Jordan treated his other teammates bothered Parish.

During Parish’s 2020 appearance on “The Cedric Maxwell Podcast,” he and Cedric Maxwell reminisced about their time together playing for the Celtics. They also played alongside Larry Bird, and Parish posited that their team leader never would have been allowed to act the way Jordan did, no matter how talented he was. “He just bullied all those guys … They didn’t have the b***s to say nothing about it,” Parish said of Jordan’s teammates. “There ain’t no way we would tolerate that behavior from Larry.” He also called Jordan out for lacking respect for his teammates while expecting them to always be at the top of their game.

Mike Tyson Purportedly Wanted To Punch Him

Robin Givens, Mike Tyson posing© Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

“Head of the Class” star Robin Givens accused her ex-husband Mike Tyson of being abusive in a “20/20” interview, and Tyson admitted to hitting her when he appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2009. Apparently, the heavyweight champ with a volatile temper wanted to do the same thing to Michael Jordan simply because the NBA player once dated Givens.

Jordan and Givens’ fling occurred before Givens and Tyson got married. In a 1989 interview with GQ, Jordan briefly spoke about the brevity of his relationship with the actor. “It got tired in five, six days,” he said. “I could see it.” Givens’ marriage to Tyson lasted just eight months, and according to the boxer’s ex-manager Rory Holloway, Tyson was so furious about Givens filing for divorce that he wanted to take out his frustration on Jordan. In his book “Taming the Beast: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson,” Holloway recounts what happened when Tyson and Jordan attended the same birthday dinner in 1988. “Mike stares across the table at Michael Jordan. He says, ‘Hey man, you think I’m stupid? I know you f***ed with my b***h,'” Holloway writes (via Boxing Scene). “Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost.” Tyson was purportedly inebriated, growing increasingly agitated, and being confrontational with everyone at the table. Eventually, he told them all that he was “going to bust Jordan’s a**.” Luckily for Jordan, he left before Tyson decided to act on his threat.

He Trashed Isiah Thomas And Dashed His Olympic Dreams

Isiah Thomas dribbling© Focus On Sport/Getty Images

According to Michael Jordan, his feelings of bitterness toward Isiah Thomas stem from the former Detroit Piston player’s refusal to shake hands with him when the Pistons lost the Eastern Conference Finals to the Chicago Bulls in 1991. In “The Last Dance,” Jordan deemed Thomas an “a**hole” for his unsportsmanlike behavior, per CBS Sports. “He calls me an a**hole. And then I proceed to watch a whole documentary about him being an a**hole,” Thomas later told Cosmote TV (via Eurohoops). “Until I get a public apology, this beef is gonna go on for a long, long time, ’cause I’m from the west side of Chicago.”

There’s also that whole Dream Team debacle that ensued after the handshake snub. Thomas’ absence from his country’s famed 1992 men’s Olympic basketball team was perplexing, as his many achievements included being named an All-Star 10 times ahead of the selection. But in a 2020 episode of “The Dream Team Tapes” podcast, writer Jack McCallum played a recording of Jordan saying that he wouldn’t play on the squad if Thomas was also on it.

A month before McCallum shared the Jordan recording, Thomas had spoken to “Get Up” about the possibility that he missed out on getting a gold medal at the Olympics because of his rival’s vindictiveness. “If that’s the reason why I didn’t make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected,” he said.

Hasan Minhaj’s Memorable Encounter With Michael Jordan

Hasan Minhaj posing© Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Comedian Hasan Minhaj thought he was going to get the opportunity to share an unforgettable moment with one of his heroes when he learned that Michael Jordan was celebrating his birthday at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He was right, unfortunately. On “The Tonight Show,” Minhaj recalled driving from Los Angeles to Sin City and hanging around the Bellagio’s casino until the wee hours of the morning in hopes of meeting Jordan. When he finally spotted the NBA player leaving, he ran toward him. “I’m reaching out for a high five,” Minhaj recalled. “And he sees me.” But instead of giving Minhaj a high five, Jordan gave his security guard a little nod. “His security guard grabs me by the neck, just lifts me up, and boom! Just body slams me into the ground,” said Minhaj.

While Minhaj’s experience was unpleasant, it wasn’t the reason that he argued against Jordan being considered the NBA’s “ultimate winner.” After he watched “The Last Dance,” Minhaj argued that Jordan is undeserving of this designation if the totality of his career is taken into account. “To me, the real winner is Steve Kerr,” said Minhaj on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three.” He pointed out that Kerr successfully transitioned from being a player to being a general manager. On top of this, he has a happy family life. In other words, we might need to reconsider what it means to be the GOAT.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Slammed Michael Jordan For Being Uncaring

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar receiving presidential Medal of Freedom© Alex Wong/Getty Images

There wasn’t much overlap between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan’s basketball careers, so fans didn’t get to see the two iconic athletes develop a fierce rivalry. Abdul-Jabbar has just as many championship rings as Jordan and more NBA MVP titles — six to Jordan’s five. Both players also received presidential Medals of Freedom from former president Barack Obama in 2016. However, Abdul-Jabbar was the only one of the two who was honored for his activism as well as his athletic achievements. “He’s as comfortable sparring with Bruce Lee as he is advocating on Capitol Hill, or writing with extraordinary eloquence about patriotism,” said Obama, per ESPN. For Abdul-Jabbar, it’s Jordan’s lack of involvement in politics that leaves him lacking as a role model.

Speaking to NPR in 2015, Abdul-Jabbar said of No. 23, “You can’t be afraid of losing shoe sales if you’re worried about your civil and human rights. He took commerce over conscience. It’s unfortunate for him, but he’s gotta live with it.” This was in regard to Jordan’s explanation for why he stays out of politics: “Republicans buy sneakers, too.” In “The Last Dance,” Jordan addressed the blowback over his words. “I wasn’t a politician when I was playing my sport,” he explained (via ESPN). “I was focused on my craft. Was that selfish? Probably.”

For the record, Abdul-Jabbar isn’t a fan of Jordan’s underwear ads, either; he rolled his eyes when mentioning them on “The Jim Jeffries Show”

Chamillionaire Couldn’t Get A Photo

Chamillionaire wearing long chain© John Ricard/Getty Images

You might think that “N Luv Wit My Money” singer Chamillionaire would hit it off with a business-minded billionaire like Michael Jordan. However, in a 2009 vlog, Chamillionaire took Jordan to task for turning down a simple photo request at a party. According to the rapper, Jordan said to him, “Oh hell nah, man! I ain’t taking no pictures with no n***as.” Chamillionaire then tried to express to Jordan just how big of a fan he was by telling the NBA icon that he had purchased one of his jerseys for $7,000. Jordan’s response? He’d agree to take a photo with Chamillionaire if he paid $15,000 for another jersey.

Chamillionaire said that he looked up to Jordan growing up, so his encounter with his idol was a huge letdown. It also left him angry. “I don’t care what happens. I’m about to punch him,” he recalled thinking.

Another rapper’s MJ encounter serves as a cautionary tale about purchasing signed Jordan merch. Common used to be a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls, and he once tried to procure Jordan’s autograph for a young fan in exchange for $5. “I said, ‘Look, Mike, can you sign this for this kid?'” Common recalled on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “He was like, ‘You sign it.’ It was like a joke.” But Common did exactly as Jordan said — and missed out on that $5 because he misspelled “Michael.”

Larsa Pippen Wasn’t Laughing At His ‘Joke’

Larsa Pippen with hand on Marcus Jordan’s shoulder© Mindy Small/Getty Images

If your son starts dating your rival’s ex-wife, don’t be like Mike. The sport and reality TV worlds collided in January 2023 when Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife, “The Real Housewives of Miami” star Larsa Pippen, made her relationship with Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus Jordan, Instagram official. TMZ asked Michael if he approved of the pair dating in July 2023, and the Jumpman’s response was an adamant “No.”

Marcus and Larsa later discussed Michael’s public disapproval of their relationship during an episode of the podcast that they started together, “Separation Anxiety with Larsa Pippen and Marcus Jordan,” While Marcus insisted that his dad’s response to TMZ was in jest, Larsa didn’t agree that it was just a harmless joke. “I didn’t think it was funny. There’s nothing funny about it,” she said, adding, “I was kind of embarrassed.” Larsa’s humiliation was compounded by her previous assertion that both her and Marcus’ family members had made their peace with the relationship. “Oh my gosh, I was traumatized,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do? People think I lied.'” Putting Larsa in such an awkward position was certainly not a great way for Michael to win the favor of his potential future daughter-in-law; in an October 2023 “Pablo Torre Finds Out” interview, Marcus said that he planned on marrying Larsa and asking his dad to be his best man.

Willie D Dissed Him In A Song

Willie D pointing at hat© Al Pereira/Getty Images

By excelling in his field, becoming fabulously wealthy in the process, and launching a shoe line that’s popular with the hip-hop community, Michael Jordan has earned more than a few mentions in rap songs. Jay-Z celebrates Jordan’s ability to keep a winning streak alive in “The Return,” and Ice Cube compares his own domination on the court to MJ’s in “It Was a Good Day.” But there is one rapper whose Jordan reference isn’t in reverence to his greatness. In his 2016 song “C**n 2,” Geto Boys member Willie D sings, “Yeah, he can play some ball, but y’all know this / Michael Jordan is a h** b***h / He never been for Blacks.”

In 2020, Willie spoke to Vlad TV about why Jordan is among the many public figures that he disses in the track. While he conceded that Jordan deserves to be considered the NBA GOAT, he can’t stand the way the former basketball player acts off the court. Willie accused him of being too profit-driven when it comes to his Air Jordan brand and criticized him for treating others poorly all too often. “He’s selfish,” the rapper said, adding, “Jordan has a history of being an a**hole.” He brought up Chamillionaire’s story about Jordan being rude to him as an example. “Chamillionaire’s a good dude, and for him to s*** on Chamillionaire the way he did, that was uncalled for,” said Willie.

He And Charles Barkley Feuded After Being Friends

Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley laughing© Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

Despite being rivals on the court, Michael Jordan and Phoenix Suns great Charles Barkley struck up a friendship. However, they had a falling out after Barkley criticized Jordan’s management of the Charlottesville Bobcats (now the Hornets) during a 2012 “The Waddle & Silvy Show” interview (via ESPN). “He called me and the last thing I heard was, ‘Motherf***er, f*** you. You’re supposed to be my boy,'” Barkley recalled on “All The Smoke.” The former friends stopped speaking afterward, but Sir Charles said that he and His Airness were keeping their decade-long feud quiet and civil — unlike some certain royal bros. “We’re not like Prince Harry and Prince William. We’re not taking shots by backdoor channels all the time,” Barkley said during a 2023 appearance on the “SI Media with Jimmy Traina” podcast.

When he appeared on “60 Minutes” the same year, Barkley defended his decision to publicly pass judgment on Jordan in 2012, arguing that it would have been unfair of him not to share his honest opinion of Jordan’s leadership skills just because they were friends — Barkley is, after all, an NBA analyst. Barkley also said that his former pal’s talent doesn’t give him “the right to be a jerk.” 

This is one instance where a Jordan critic would like to bury the hatchet. However, Barkley said that he would not be the one who extends an olive branch. “I got an ego, too,” he explained.