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Michael Jordan Addressed Rumors His Gambling Was Tied To His Father’s Murder In ‘The Last Dance’

Episode 7 of The Last Dance delves into a couple things relating to Michael Jordan’s first retirement in 1993 that many were curious if they would even discuss. One is the conspiracy theory of Jordan’s first retirement being an 18-month “secret suspension,” which David Stern addresses and insists is totally false.

The other is speculation that the murder of James Jordan, Michael’s father, in the summer of 1993 was in some way related to his gambling. It was something theorized almost immediately, as Jordan’s gambling had come into focus during the 1993 playoffs, and remains something people still believe.

Jordan addressed it quickly in the documentary, noting that at the time it did hurt but he believes it was only coming from people that didn’t know him and wanted to hurt him.

“It did hurt, but you had people who were throwing darts that wanted to hurt me anyway,” Jordan said. “It wasn’t from the people I love or the people that knew me or the people that cared. It was the people that got tired of me being on top.”

Others like Sam Smith and Bob Costas called the public speculation of that in the papers “cheap shots” and noted there was no evidence to link the two things.