Michael Jordan’s biggest nightmare was ruining his public image. His Airness was often concerned about the perception people had of him.
Probably one of the most towering personalities in all sports history, MJ was known to have an impeccable competitive nature and drive to succeed. Jordan was a major reason behind NBA being a global brand.
The 6x NBA champion, in many eyes, was a national hero as well. An icon of the game, Jordan’s life was not limited to the NBA hardwood. The superstar was under constant media glare, with people wanting to know his daily activities.
The 10x scoring champion was a larger-than-life personality doing endorsements, TV shows, and even movies. Though Jordan made a more than comfortable living with basketball paycheck, it was his off-court business propositions that earned him a fortune.
A popular face on the billboards, MJ had plenty of endorsements under his belt. Some of the popular brands include McDonald’s and Hanes. However, it was his partnership with Nike sneakers that made him a global brand.
In 1991 the book Jordan Rules written by Sam Smith took the world by storm. It showcased a human side to the legend Michael Jordan. The book spoke about His Airnesse’s fears, especially when it was about his image.
Former Chicago Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong talks about reading “The Jordan Rules” by Sam Smith and how the book impacted the team: pic.twitter.com/KvU3sVfRPW
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 6, 2020
Michael Jordan had regular nightmares about ruining his public image.
The book Jordan Rules gave an inside into the life of MJ during the 1990-91 season. The former DPOY would never let emotions get the better of him, especially on the court. Jordan had built a persona of having a merciless and killer instinct on the court.
However, Sam Smith’s book showed us the human side of the basketball legend. Smith spoke about how cautious the superstar was with his image always being an ambassador of the game, especially in his advertisements.
The 58-year old always had a fear of destroying his image and being tainted for life. He talked about a recurring nightmare about having done something embarrassing or improper, like using drugs or drinking inappropriately.
Jordan touched upon a vulnerable side to his otherwise flawless personality stating,” It’s a nightmare of me doing something that would destroy people’s dreams or conceptions of me,” Jordan said. “What if I make a mistake and let everyone down, change what they think if [sic] me? It’s the biggest fear I have.”
Sam Smith’s iconic book continues to make headlines even after two decades since it was published. Though MJ is regarded as superhuman, who fears none and destroyed opponents on the court, the book clearly displays the insecurities the legend went through just like any other human being.