When Tempers Flared: Inside the Tense Exchange Where Mike Tyson Confronted Michael Jordan About His Past


Michael Jordan nearly found himself in hot water with the baddest man on the planet many years ago. In a newly released book from Mike Tyson’s former manager and best friend Rory Holloway, he sheds light on the time the heavyweight champ was ready to throw down. It’s no secret that Tyson has long been considered one of the scariest men on the planet.

From the time he was “Kid Dynamite” all the way through his “Iron” Mike Tyson comeback, and even to this day as a 56-year-old, the tales of Tyson’s wild behavior have been well documented. From reportedly wanting to fight a silverback gorilla during a date at a zoo to owning a pet tiger, Tyson has pretty much done it all in his lifetime.

Add onto that nearly coming to blows with NBA legend Michael Jordan during a casual dinner.


As the story goes, Tyson, Jordan, Mike Ditka, Richard Dent and Don King were all out to dinner. Although the night was a casual one, Tyson turned up the heat when he questioned Jordan’s involvement with his ex-wife, Robin Givens.

As Holloway wrote in his book, “Taming The Beast: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson”:

“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.’”


As Holloway wrote, Jordan, who was notorious for his love of trash talk, understandably wanted no part of Tyson. Although Jordan was known as one of the fiercest trash talkers in the NBA, the heavyweight champion of the world was a completely different beast.

“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,” Holloway wrote.


Although Jordan managed to avoid escalating the situation, there was no way Tyson was going to drop the subject. As the story goes, Iron Mike spent the rest of the evening telling everyone that he was going to beat MJ up.

“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,” Holloway wrote.

From the sounds of things, Jordan managed to get away unscathed, however given how close he came to clashing with a prime Tyson, he got lucky. According to reports, Tyson nearly beat Brad Pitt to death when he walked in on the Hollywood star in bed with Givens.


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