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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11 Love: Phil Knight
Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Shoes in 1964, and in 1971, it became NIKE. In 1984, NIKE signed Michael Jordan and his original shoe was banned from the NBA, causing quite a stir. With the attention given to Nike over the shoe ban, combined with the emergence of Michael, NIKE instantly became a billion dollar corporation.
10 Hate: Muggsy Bogues
Most people believe that MJ and Muggsy Bogues are pals. I mean they both starred in Space Jam, so they must be friends, right? Wrong! The truth is, Michael basically ended Bogues' career during a 1995 playoff game. On the biggest possession of the game, Muggsy had the ball with the his team only down one point. Jordan, was sticking him, but he decided to back off of him and say, "Shoot it, you f***ing midget." Muggsy shot it, but the shot was a complete brick. A year later, Muggsy actually told a Bulls assistant coach that he believes that single play ruined his career. His shot never recovered.
9 Love: Phil Jackson
The epic battles that happened between these two during Bulls practice are legendary. But the truth is that Phil Jackson knows that Michael helped him become the God of coaching that he is now. Phil joined the Bulls in 1987, Jordan's fourth season. When Jackson showed up, things began to change for the Bulls. He implemented a new offense that fit perfectly with MJ's style of play, and the addition of Scottie Pippen didn't hurt either.
8 Hate: Stephon Marbury
Stephon Marbury was, for a short time, a superstar in the NBA. He is currently a superstar in China, where he has dominated their professional league for years. He also, much like Michael, has his own signature shoe line. The difference between Marbury's shoes and Jordan's is the price. You can buy a pair of Marbury's for around $30 while Jordan's can run anywhere from $100-$500 big ones. The reason Marbury made his shoes was simple. He was tired of seeing people murdered for a pair of shoes, which is exactly what has been happening with Jordan shoes for over a decade.
7 Love: Jeffrey Harrison
Jeffrey Harrison is possibly Michael Jordan's biggest fan, so that alone could get him on this list. However, it is not just his fandom that makes me believe he loves MJ more than almost anybody.
6 Hate: Will Perdue
As we have mentioned, and as you probably already know, Jordan was the fiercest teammate basketball has ever known. Stories about Bulls' practices often sound more intense than the actual games. Jordan has gotten into it with several teammates, including Steve Kerr, Bill Cartwright, and Toni Kukoc. But the worst episode had to come when Jordan and Will Perdue were teammates in Chicago.
5 Love: Scottie Pippen
Before we start this entry it is only fair to mention that Jordan was unable to capture the ultimate goal until Scottie Pippen joined him in Chicago. But the truth is, Jordan propelled Pippen's career to heights it would have never reached if not for MJ.
4 Hate: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The all-time leading scorer in NBA, and one of only two players to top Jordan on that list, is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jabbar has been an advocate for Civil Rights since his days at UCLA under the legend John Wooden. His work in Civil Rights activism are well chronicled and he continues to this day to have an imprint on cultural values and equal treatment for all.
3 Love: Drake
Drake is NBA celebrity fan number one these days. We all remember when he ruined the icon shot from last years All-Star Game when LeBron James and Kobe Bryant were squaring off one-on-one and Drake had to stand up and get his mug in the shot. With that aside, Drake is also possibly MJ's number one fan. Drake had one of his dreams come to life when he got to work with Jordan. The two collaborated on the OVO Jordan 10 sneakers, which feature both the OVO and Jumpman logos.
2 Hate: Isiah Thomas
The history between these two goes deep. Jordan and Isiah Thomas battled in some of the most physical and intense playoff series in NBA history. The Pistons were the mountain Jordan was unable to climb early in his career. Once Jordan was able to knock off the Pistons, he did it with little grace. After knocking the Pistons out of the playoffs for the first time in his career, Jordan refused to shake hands with the "Bad Boys" after the final game.
There was also the freeze-out of Jordan in the All-Star Game. Thomas was the best PG in the NBA at the time, and he instructed his Eastern Conference All-Star teammates to freeze out MJ, as in, don't give him the ball. Needless to say, that didn't go over well with MJ, and Jordan hung onto that anger, unleashing it when he had the chance.
1 Love: Donald Trump
The man running for President has always touted himself as a great businessman. Part of his business expertise was owning several casinos, including the Trump Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As we all know, Jordan is a big time gambler.
One of MJ's best stories comes from the 1993 playoffs when he was playing the New York Knicks. Jordan and his Bulls were in New York and it was an off day between Games One and Two, the Bulls having lost Game One. The night before Game Two, Jordan was spotted at a New Jersey Casino, likely one of Trump's many classy establishments. Jordan was seen gambling large sums of money long into the morning hours. After giving who knows how much money to Trump's casino, Jordan went out and laid an egg in Game Two. The Bulls however, did go on to win the series, and the Championship that season.
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