There was a time when MJ wasn’t the ‘Mike’ everyone was talking about when it came to athletes.
Jordan was still yet to break through the NBA Playoffs, whereas boxer Mike Tyson was at the peak of his powers.
The pair met at a party in 1988 where Jordan was almost beaten up by Mike Tyson over Robin Givens, Tyson’s ex-wife, according to Tyson’s co-manager Rory Holloway.
“Mike Tyson’s sitting there with his drink of choice, a Long Island Tea, and when he drinks his real feelings come out. I’m telling the server to water his drinks down ‘cause I see where this is going. Mike stares across the table at Michael Jordan. He says, ‘Hey man, you think I’m stupid? I know you f—-d with my b—h.’ Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost. ‘I know you messed with her,’ Mike says. ‘You can tell me.’ Jordan, it’s obvious he just wants to get up and run. He wants no part of this.”
“Mike turns to Ditka. ‘Man, you think somebody scared of you, all that racist s–t you been talking?’ He says to Dent, ‘Y’all scared of this damn white man, Richard? He ain’t nobody. You gonna let him talk that way?’ It was a circus, for real, that night. Don King trying to change the subject. Me and John trying to hold Mike down. Mike telling everyone he’s going to bust Jordan’s ass. Jordan’s dressed sharp as always and he can’t get out of there fast enough.”
This was a close call for Jordan, as nobody doubts that Mike Tyson would follow through on the threat made by him. The course of NBA history might be different if Tyson ended up punching out Jordan that night.
Michael Jordan In 1988
The 1987-1988 season might have been the greatest individual statistical season for Michael Jordan in his career. While it wasn’t a year he would become an NBA Champion, as his coronation was still a few years ago, Jordan absolutely dominated the regular season.
During that season, Jordan won the MVP award, the Defensive Player of the Year award, the scoring title, the NBA All-Star Game MVP, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest award, and the steals title. That is an incredible haul of awards.
Jordan ended the season with averages of 35.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.2 steals, and 1.6 blocks. MJ was shooting 53.5% from the field and 84.1% from the free-throw line, while also leading the league in minutes.