One-on-One with Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan sits down for an exclusive interview with Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher of Cigar Aficionado.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Michael Jordan, July/August 2005
(continued from page 10)
MRS: [Laughter] That's not a C wine!
JORDAN: Obviously it's the top of the line, granted that. Then I started getting more involved with Bordeaux. A good friend of mine, Mario Lemieux, is a big-time wine drinker. I go to a lot of his golf tournaments, and he taught me how to go to Sotheby's and buy at auction. I do have a strong interest in wine. But my wife's is a lot stronger. She's taken classes and she goes to wine tastings and things of that nature. I'm not quite at that level, because I like to do it on my own. I enjoy wine. I truly, truly enjoy wine.
MRS: There is one wine story in the research I did. It's something about a meeting you were having with David Falk, and you started ordering wine to shut him up?
JORDAN: Yeah. We had a dinner meeting and I couldn't get a word in. The meal was on his company bill. Anytime he orders wine, or orders anything, he checks the price. But that night he was taking time out from what we were talking about to make sure about the price. So now I say, Give me the most expensive wine, and he's picking up the tab. Then, I say, Every time you interrupt what we're talking about, I'm going to order another bottle. When I started ordering the '61s, I quieted him right down, and we got through the conversation. That is a true story.
MRS: Cigars? We're sitting here. We're smoking a Cuban Monty No. 2. Nothing wrong with that. I went through your humidor here; you have a great selection. When did you first get into cigars?
JORDAN: I smoked my first cigar in 1991, when we won the championship. Up to that point, I had never smoked a cigar, never smoked anything. We won the championship, and Jerry Reinsdorf gave me one of his cigars. He's a big cigar smoker.
The next time I received a cigar was from my good friend, Ahmad Rashad. He used to get these Churchills from Las Vegas that were dipped in rum. I wouldn't smoke them, but I would sit there and chew on them. I got to the point where it became very relaxing.
In Chicago, I tell people this, and they have to understand the context of what happened. We had to be to the stadium at 6 o'clock for home games, and traffic was so bad it would take us an hour and 15 or an hour and 30 minutes to drive. So now I'm sitting in a car for almost an hour and a half, and I'm very tense. I'm worried about the traffic. So I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game.
MRS: What cigar?
JORDAN: At the time, I started out with the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona.
MRS: That's a good hour smoke.
JORDAN: Taking my time. I never rushed. As soon as I walked in, Phil [Jackson] would say, OK, you had a long drive. It became such a relaxing thing to do. Not many people know about it. When they read this, they'll know that each and every day for a home game, I smoked a cigar. I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It's the most relaxing thing.
MRS: People don't understand. When I'm in the office and I have a problem, I light a cigar, and my mind expands and I'm able to solve the problem.
JORDAN: It is the most relaxing thing. Every time I get to a point where everything is coming at me, I would rather just sit back and smoke a cigar and relax.
MRS: What are your favorite cigars today?
JORDAN: Partagas Lusitanias. I love those. And I'm in love with all Cubans. I've become a big Cuban cigar smoker. I gradually worked my way up from Las Vegas rum-dipped to all the different types.
MRS: What size cigar do you like?
JORDAN: Depends on the time, depends on the day, depends on what I'm doing. If I'm in a rush, I can go for a robusto—not that it's not going to be rushing, but it's smaller.
Comments 1 comment(s)
Ron Comrie — Lakewood Ranch, Florida, United States, — December 26, 2012 1:49pm ET
You must be logged in to post a comment.