Michael Jordan Is The Definition Of A Basketball Icon, But Anthony Anderson Managed To Beat Him In Another Sport

Anthony Anderson on black-ish
(Image credit: ABC)

When you think of excellence in the sports world, Michael Jordan is one of the first people who comes to mind. The Chicago Bulls icon amassed a slew of accolades over the course of his playing career, including six NBA championships and five Most Valuable Player trophies. The man is simply the definition of a basketball icon, and much of his success can be attributed to his intense competitive nature. It’s that very passion that drives him to face off with friends in various activities during his downtime. And as it turns out, that passion also opened up an opportunity for Anthony Anderson to beat Jordan in a sport that’s not b-ball.

Anthony Anderson has been friends with Michael Jordan for a while now and seems to know him quite well. The comedian touched on his relationship with the hall of famer during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. The titular host coaxed Anderson into spilling a few details about Jordan. The actor eventually confirmed that his buddy is “competitive at everything.” Clarkson then asked Anderson if he’s ever beaten his chum at anything, and Anderson – who seemed humorously hesitant to share any specific details – confirmed that he has and told the following story:

So I have twice in my life. … We played golf back in the Bahamas years ago, and he gave me my strokes. He’s a much better player than I am, so he gave me my strokes. But I actually beat him that day without the strokes. … And you know, it wasn’t real big money, but it was enough money, like $900. And he balled the money up, and he threw it at my face and told me I’m never getting strokes again. And ever since then, he’s never given me my strokes.

The black-ish alum is definitely aware that not too many people can say they’ve beaten His Airness in some kind of competition. (I’d personally be shouting it from the rooftops while wearing a shirt that reads, “I beat MJ.”) But the actor is fairly humble about his accomplishment as to “preserve” his friendship with the celebrated athlete. I wouldn’t be surprised if he (respectfully) pulls out those bragging rights once every so often, though. You can see an excerpt from the comic’s talk show appearance down below:

A lot has been said about Michael Jordan’s competitiveness over the years, and it was also covered extensively in ESPN’s Emmy-winning docuseries, The Last Dance (which can be streamed using a Netflix subscription.) Though Jordan initially didn’t want to do the series, he eventually agreed and, in it, he didn’t hold back when discussing what fueled him on the court. He especially drove that point home during the end of the show’s seventh episode, when he delivered a passionate monologue. You can see that for yourself down below:

People may have varied thoughts when it comes to his method, but you honestly can’t argue with the results. Air Jordan got the job done and in the process, earned the respect of a number of his peers. Even Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson referred to him as the “strongest” athlete he’s ever seen. How exactly that strength translates to recreational activities with friends is hard to say but, based on what we know about him as well as Anthony Anderson’s comments, I’m sure the NBA GOAT gives it his all every time.

One thing I know for sure is that I don’t ever want to meet Michael Jordan on the golf course. I’d probably end up getting “smoked” like J.R. Smith did when the two of them played. Interestingly, Jordan’s former teammate, Scottie Pippen, thinks he could beat him at the sport but, considering their feud, I’m not sure if they’ll ever meet up to test that theory. Though I’m sure there are plenty of others, like Anthony Anderson, who will go head to head with the legend in the hopes of one-upping him.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.