Jay Mariotti: “All of these gambling stories are true. Richard Esquinas in San Diego, the murdered bail bondsman in North Carolina, the convicted cocaine trafficker ‘Slim’ Bouler. These are all true stories of scumbags gambling with Michael… 1993 was a blur… All these stories started to hit us -- the Atlantic City story, then David Stern announces he’s ‘investigating Michael’s gambling’, then his father is murdered, and then Michael retires. We’d be very irresponsible to try and connect those dots, but with that being said, the problem that I have with it is that the media went very soft… If a problem gambler, and he certainly was, is sitting on the 18th green with Richard Esquinas, maybe Esquinas tells him ‘hey look, you’re down $1.2 million’... How do you know Michael in that state of mind, Esquinas asks him to screw around with an over/under? Who knows what he would do. I’m not suggesting that happened, but if I’m the NBA commissioner I am frightened if my meal ticket is in the middle of this nonsense. David Stern NEVER investigated this in any sort of way, and they announced the end of the probe two days after he retired. I wanna know EVERYTHING Michael was up to, and I don’t think Stern had any interest at all in knowing what Jordan was up to… I would have loved to see Adam Silver in the middle of this Jordan investigation. How does Pete Rose, Lance Armstrong, Tom Brady, or the Houston Astros feel about this?? “ (Full rant above)
Listen to sportswriter Jay Mariotti join The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker to rant about how he thinks ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ documentary completely punted on diving into Michael Jordan’s notoriously shady history with gambling.
A former golfing acquaintance of Jordan has been on record saying that Jordan at one point owed him $1.2 million in gambling debt, which was also compounded by the proven reports of Jordan writing checks for large amounts of money to shadowy creeps of the criminal underworld. One of these instances even forced Jordan to actually admit being a part of during a deposition under oath involving Jordan and another golfing acquaintance.
Check out the revealing audio above as Mariotti says the NBA needs to actually follow up with these absurd stories, and make sure that Jordan wasn’t potentially involved in fixing games or messing with over/unders while he on the Bulls to pay off gambling debts.