Plenty of NBA pundits have by now made the mistake of questioning Michael Jordan’s “all-time greatest player” status in the wake of LeBron James’ meteoric and sustained rise to basketball stardom. Since Jordan’s playing days are behind him, he recently challenged LBJ to a battle for alpha-male status on his new home court — the floor of the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas.
“It was pretty intimidating, I’ll admit,” said LeBron afterward. “Michael knows the names of everybody in the place. He had names for the dice. Dude’s even got a monogrammed locker stocked with cigars and crazy, glittering suits.”
LeBron’s agent was hesitant about the gambling battle after allowing his client to be sucked into “The Decision” debacle of last summer.
“MJ has spent much of his post-basketball career calling-out people for not believing in him and making his friends cry on the world’s finest golf courses,” said agent Leon Rose. “And now he’s got a Hitler mustache. Who knows what he’ll do?”
The craps match was set, nonetheless. To call the game the pair then undertook “high-stakes” is a bit of an understatement. The players began by marking betting chips to represent automobiles and other luxury items until each toss transferred the equivalent of a Price is Right showcase. The betting then began to get a bit conceptual.
“At one point Jordan bet LeBron his ‘first happy thought each morning,’” said dealer Len West. “Is that transferable? Cause he won it.”
After a decent start, LeBron James eventually fell behind and left the casino with nothing except a Hanes T-shirt on loan from Jordan.
“From now on I’ll be taking my talents far away from MJ,” said James. “But not back to South Beach, because Michael now owns my both my houses there.”
By Dan Bradley