Jeremy Roenick knows firsthand: Michael Jordan really, really hates to lose a bet

Michael Jordan, Charlotte Hornets owner, applauds during a game against the Washington Wizards on Feb. 5.
(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

There are many legendary stories involving basketball great Michael Jordan and gambling. Former hockey great Jeremy Roenick added one when he appeared on Chicago radio station the Score on Tuesday.

Jordan asked Roenick to play a round of golf. Roenick had the day off, so he agreed. And then: “I beat him for a couple thousand and I’m getting ready to leave. Now the Bulls are playing that night, they play Cleveland, that night. I’m thinking he’s leaving, it’s 10 [a.m.]. He’s like ‘No, let’s go play again.’ So he goes, we fill up a bag full of ice and Coors Light and we walk again, we roll around another 18, and I take him for another couple,” Roenick said in the interview on WSCR-AM (670).

“And now we’ve been drinking all afternoon, now he’s going from [the golf course] to the stadium to play a game. And I’m like messing around. I’m like, ‘I’m gonna call my bookie and all of the money you just lost to me I’m putting on Cleveland tonight.’

“He goes ‘I tell you what, I’ll bet you that we win by 20 points and that I have more than 40,’ I’m like, ‘Done.’ Son of a gun goes out and scores 52 and they win by 26 or something after ... 36 holes of golf and having like 10 Bud Lights.”


Can’t make heads or tails of it

Geno Smith clearly said “tails” before the coin toss.

No, wait. He clearly said “heads.”

Actually, the only thing clear about the matter is that the Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback didn’t say anything clearly as his team’s game against the San Francisco 49ers went into overtime Monday night.

In one of the most anticipated “Monday Night Football” games of the year, the two-loss Seahawks were looking to upset the then-unbeaten 49ers. So when the game was tied at 24-24 at the end of regulation, the coin toss to determine who got possession for the start of overtime was a pretty big deal.


And many viewers thought official Alex Kemp botched the call.

Watching the replay, Smith said something that sounded like “teds.” Kemp went with “heads,” and no one seemed to have a problem with it at the time — not Smith when Kemp first said “heads,” not the 49ers’ Richard Sherman after the coin landed on heads.

But over on social media, a heated debate was taking place.

The funniest part about this debate is none of it ended up mattering. The Seahawks got possession of the ball but ended up turning it over. Then the 49ers missed what would have been a game-winning field goal, and the two teams exchanged punts before Seattle finally won the game 27-24 on a 42-yard field goal by Jason Myers as time expired.


Your favorite sports moment

What is your all-time favorite local sports moment? Email me at and tell me what it is and why, and it could appear in a future Sports newsletter or Morning Briefing.

This moment comes from Ron Mossler of Northridge:

“Having grown up a huge UCLA fan in the 60s and 70s, I eventually earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees from there. Of course my children grew up to be die-hard Bruins fans as well. In fact, when I brought my 3-year-old son Max to campus one day he was disappointed he didn’t see Snoopy or the blimp flying overhead since he saw Westwood as an extension of his Rose Bowl playground. Like the rest of my family, Max always had plenty of blue and gold gear, which he wore proudly whenever we attended events.

“When Max was about 9, we went to a UCLA-Stanford basketball game at Pauley Pavilion. The family with whom we attended knew Tara VanDerveer, Stanford’s women’s basketball coach, and we were introduced to her after the game. As we all made plans to go with VanDerveer to have dinner in the Village, the coach turned to Max and good-naturedly said, “Only if you remove that UCLA sweatshirt!” Max took the opportunity to make his first, best joke: “Sure!” he excitedly said, and immediately removed it. Underneath the sweatshirt was a UCLA T-shirt that left VanDerveer and the rest of us in stitches.”


Favorite (and proud) moment indeed!