Michael Jordan is a compulsive competitor and not only on the basketball court. The tales of his cut-throat competitive streak have been told for years, and this infamously has seeped over into his gambling. He was renowned in his youth for staying up all night playing cards, and then playing or training the next day.
In a site down interview with SI, Spike Lee talks about the time he was travelling with the Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Now, other players have mentioned that Mike enjoyed gambling on this trip – which at the time was more an exhibition of NBA talent than a competitive tournament – and Spike talks about the time, Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley (another infamous gambler) were up all night playing poker.
The film director says it was just the four of them in a room, and he was just sitting there for company as the three Dream Team members were going in on each other, talking trash and gambling for eight straight hours on a night when they had a game the next day.
That’s what he’s like, he’s a very private person, but once you get into the fold...it’s beautiful. [...]
He’s funny as hell, let me tell you a story. I was in Barcelona for the Dream Team, and one night, now I don’t play poker. There was Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and me, in one room for eight hours. And they were playing cards. I wish I could have a camera in there. That was the funniest S-H...I ever heard in my life. For eight hours, these guys were just going at it. Talkin’ about ‘yo, your mother this, your father this’ and they’re throwing down the cards on the table. Think about this, Jordan Barkley, and Magic, just the four of us for eight hours, and they had a game the next morning. And I left... I left after six hours.