By Jason Duaine Hahn May 07, 2020 02:22 PM
Michael Jordan would “generously” tip the staff who stayed later to accommodate him, his former teammate Brad Sellers told The Undefeated
NBA legend Michael Jordan was once the “most famous person in the world,” as his former friend Charles Barkley recently said. But having one of the most recognizable faces on the planet comes with downsides.
Jordan’s celebrity status catapulted in the 1990s during his pursuit of six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. He was everywhere, from commercials to movies, and his lasting stardom meant he’d never again be able to do the everyday things a normal person could.
But, as his former Bulls teammate Brad Sellers recently told The Undefeated, Jordan — the focus of the current hit ESPN documentary series, The Last Dance — still found a way to enjoy the little things in life.
“You saw MJ doing laundry in the first few episodes and that was him back then, the countryside of him, just living like a regular dude,” Sellers told the outlet of the first six episodes of the series, which have looked back at Jordan’s career, including his time in college and early years in the NBA.
“But he just got bigger and bigger in basketball and to a point where he couldn’t go out … I remember saying to him one day, ‘Hey, M, how do you eat?’ ” Sellers explained. “He told me he would call Jewel-Osco [a grocery chain] about 15 minutes before they closed, and let them know he was coming in.”
“They would stay open later to let him shop,” he added.
To show his gratitude, Sellers said Jordan would “generously” tip the staff who worked after closing to accommodate him.
“He wasn’t making no $30 million a year; I’m sure at that time he was making less than a million,” Sellers said to the outlet. “But it was a lot of money at the time and he made sure that he took care of people.”
Sellers, who was 24 when he was drafted by the Bulls, said he saw many other examples of the influence Jordan possessed at the peak of his NBA playing days.
According to Sellers, Jordan would receive personal police escorts to games to guarantee he would arrive on time. Sellers caught onto this, and would even time his drive to the stadium to match Jordan’s so he could take advantage of the escort.
“We would go out of our way to go by the freeway near his house because the troopers would turn on their lights when Michael got on and lead him along the shoulder,” Sellers said.
“I’d drive my Chevy Blazer right behind his Corvette on the shoulder,” he added.