Michael Jordan is obviously one of, if not the greatest basketball player of all-time. He is also one of the most polarizing athletes of the modern era. His influence in today’s culture is hardly rivaled. Jordan has made many people NBA Champions, and he has also made countless other folks rich.
Jordan has a very large and very loyal following. There are many people who believe it is blasphemous to say a bad thing about MJ. His impact on culture stretches far beyond just his accomplishments as a player. Many adults and children wear Jordan shoes every day; his entire clothing brand has become a status symbol for many people.
His personality is also something that people look to when forming an opinion of Jordan. He is widely regarded as the most competitive athlete in sports history. The stories of MJ going overboard on his teammates are plentiful and also comical. He has an insatiable desire to win at whatever he does, and that can rub people the wrong way.
When you combine his personality with his status and influence, it is easy to understand why some people may feel passionate one way or another about him. So with that in mind, we will now reveal the list of eight people who hate Michael Jordan and eight people who love him.
16. Hate: Charles Barkley
Sir Charles Barkley has often defended MJ as the greatest basketball player of all-time, but that was not always the case. During their playing days, Jordan was the prime reason that Barkley was never able to win a championship, despite his incredible abilities. Barkley has recently shown some dislike toward Jordan for more cultural reasons. MJ recently made a political statement when he spoke out about the African Americans being killed by police. Prior to that statement, Jordan had been long silent and a non-participant in activism among the athletic community. Barkley was highly critical, along with other athletes, of Jordan’s silence.
This reluctance is nothing new for Michael, however. As we all remember, during his rise to fame in the 1990s, Jordan was asked about his shoes being sold to members of the Republican Party who were less than accepting of the “black culture.” Jordan’s famous response was “Hey, Republicans buy shoes too.”
15. Love: Kwame Brown
In 2001, Kwame Brown was a high school player looking to become a pro. He entered himself into the NBA Draft straight out of high school and the Washington Wizards had the first overall pick. The General Manager of the Wizards at the time happened to be Michael Jordan. Jordan, always the risk-taker, decided to become the first person to ever draft a high school kid with the first pick. History has shown that this pick was one of the worst mistakes ever made by a GM, but Jordan did what he thought was best.
Kwame Brown, of course, didn’t mind Jordan’s blunder. Brown was set for life after receiving his rookie contract. His career was mauled with injuries and talent shortcomings, but his bank account was never a worry again. I am sure MJ is not the biggest Kwame Brown fan, but Kwame is undoubtedly a huge Jordan fan.
14. Hate: Jerry Krause
Jerry Krause was the General Manager for the Chicago Bulls during their history three-peats. He was also despised by many of his players, including Jordan. Krause was a very selfish, greedy, and insecure GM. After every championship, Krause would flirt with the idea of blowing things up and rebuilding with players he drafted.
Krause and Jordan had many public disputes, including when Jordan received $30 million for a single season. Krause was one of the first people to publicly scoff at Jordan’s contract request, ultimately giving in to the public outcry to keep MJ in Chicago. Krause finally got his wish, however, in 1998. After Jordan retired for the second time, Krause blew the team up and started over. I think we all know how that went…
13. Love: David Stern
When David Stern took over as NBA commissioner in 1985, the NBA was on the rise. They had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird leading the league into the modern age and things were looking alright. But as Bird aged quicker than he should have, and Magic contracted the HIV virus, the NBA needed a new face. Luckily for Stern, there was Michael Jordan waiting in the wings.
Jordan entered the NBA in 1984, a year before Stern took over. The two of them basically started their careers together, and for Stern, Jordan could not have come at a better time. The emergence of MJ during the late ’80s and though the ’90s enabled the NBA to grow to astounding heights. David Stern is now regarded as one of the best commissioners in sports history, but without Michael Jordan as the face of his league, it is unlikely his reputation would be the same.
12. Hate: Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing was arguably the second best player of the Jordan Era, yet thanks to Michael, Patrick was never even able to make a Finals appearance. Jordan and Ewing had some of the greatest playoff battles of all time during their heights in the ’90s. Ewing was the center, and anchor for a New York Knicks team that easily had enough talent to win a title in almost any era.
It was not just Jordan who got under Ewing’s skin. If you have never seen the dunk that Scottie Pippen threw down on Ewing in the 1996 playoffs, you need to set a reminder on your phone right now to check that out! Ewing and Pippen went nose to nose after the posterization, but that damage had already been done. Pippen may have a great highlight over Ewing, but Jordan set Ewing home season after season, and for that, Ewing will never be a Jordan lover.