Michael Jordan, Who Donated his $1 Million Earnings, Broke Down the Difference between Passion and Addiction

Samir Mehdi
|Published September 26, 2022

Michael Jordan refused to say that he was addicted to basketball and went on to explain that the difference between that and passion. 

Michael Jordan grew up playing two sports for the most part: basketball and baseball. As evident by the mark he left in the NBA, it’s clear what sport he ultimately chose to go through with from high school to college and all the way through the pros. Sure, he did play in the Minor Leagues for baseball but returned to the Bulls in a little over a year. 

Even during Michael’s press conference announcing his retirement from the NBA, he said he would always leave the door open for a comeback. During his second retirement, he missed three full seasons after the Chicago Bulls’ Jerry Krause refused to bring Phil Jackson back as the head coach. 

Despite not having played professional basketball for 3 seasons and snagging a front office job with the Washington Wizards as their President of Basketball Operations, he still made a second comeback to the game. He would go on to play the 2001-02 season without a team salary, donating his $1 million to 9/11 reliefs. 

Given this, it’s safe to say that Michael Jordan was obsessed with the game of basketball.

Also read: Daniel Green, who brutally murdered Michael Jordan’s father, disturbingly revealed how he concealed James Jordan’s body

Michael Jordan on the difference between passion and addiction. 

Michael Jordan spoke with Cigar Aficionado in 2005 and talked about a variety of topics ranging from his ‘Dream Team’ to the use and abuse of substances in professional sports. It had been two years since MJ had hung the Js up and so he was asked, “Do you miss the excitement of basketball?” 

“Yes. I have to stay away from it because of it. I wouldn’t say it’s an addiction but it’s a passion. When you have a passion, you want to do it as much as possible. Addiction means you can’t help yourself. I have a strong passion for the game of basketball,” said Jordan in response to that question. 

That first line of, “I have to stay away from it because of it,” implies that he loves the game to a point where if he started to play again, he wouldn’t know when to stop. 

Over the course of his illustrious career, this was quite evident. Whether it was playing through injuries or coming back from retirements again and again, Michael Jordan couldn’t stay away from playing professionally for nearly 2 decades.

Also read: Why does Michael Jordan’s $5 billion brand call certain pairs “Sky Jordans” instead of “Air Jordans”? 

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About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi is an NBA Editor at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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