“That’s a sleazy underwear ad”: Michael Jordan’s Dad, James Jordan, and ex-wife Juanita Vanoy Once Made TV Debuts in Sleazy Ad

Jeet Pukhrambam
|Published February 17, 2023

There are things that age well and things that don’t. What can be considered good a few decades ago might be seen as outdated and straight-up trashy today. Seldom do things last the way they should. This is especially true for TV commercials. Just ask Michael Jordan, who handed out TV debuts to dad, James Jordan and Juanita Vanoy in a rather raunchy underwear commercial.

Of course, Michael himself probably had no idea how it would be seen down the line and frankly, we didn’t even know of its existence till we accidentally stumbled upon it.

And the commercial is a reflection of how wayward the early 1990s truly were. Everything was given the green light and seldom was something denied.

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Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan’s dad James Jordan made TV debut for Hanes

Among Michael Jordan’s early sponsors was the undergarment company, Hanes. At the time, they were huge and as a result, they had many ad segments with the NBA’s rising poster child.

Mind you, this was still when MJ was starting his epic run of championship victories. Hanes knew they had to capitalize on it. And they did.

The ad talks about umm, wearing the right clothing for your “equipment”. And Michael’s dad, James, asks if wearing “Hanes underwear” is good. Juanita, his then-wife, chimes in with yes and how much she loves it.

James asks if his mom will enjoy that, and Michael’s “maybe” is as characteristic as it should really be. Just take a look at the ad below.

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The tragic turn of fate

After this ad, nothing was as it seems in the life of Michael. And while the ad might have been a depiction of a rosy life for the Bulls legend at the time, things changed rapidly.

In just a short time after this ad, he lost his dad. James Jordan was brutally murdered and Michael decided to retire after winning his first three-peat. A truly tragic turn of fate.

And his marriage to Juanita Vanoy came to an end just a little over a decade later. While we cannot call that short-lived, a part of Jordan and Vanoy wanted the whole thing to work out.

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About the author

Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam is The SportsRush's Lead Editor for Basketball. After freelancing for five years as an independent writer, Jeet created thousands of blog posts and articles. He now covers intriguing news reports and throwback stories on all things NBA. His interest in NBA started with the ascendancy of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2016-17 season. Since then, Jeet has managed to coalesce his knowledge of the game and his writing to create pieces that are reflective of the current state of the league. Now, he ensures that The SportsRush produces the highest quality of writing. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, cooking, traveling, and dancing to techno. Jeet takes pride in his critical thinking, music playlists, and his love for spaghetti.

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