Did you know that Michael Jordan would drink a six-pack of beer after games?
“In the first half hour after a game, Jordan and various teammates would pound down five or six beers and often fire up a cigar,” the book reads. “It’s not unusual for pro basketball players to drink beer after games. They’ve been doing it for decades. It helped them replace the body fluids they’ve sweated away.”
Sam Smith, author of the 1992 book The Jordan Rules, confirmed this with First We Feast. “It was fairly common back then for beer to be in locker rooms and players to have a can or two in the hour or so they’d linger after,” he said. “Maybe take a few with them to drink later. No one much hurried to leave [the locker room].”
There’s been quite a few accounts of the after-game tradition. In the 2014 book, Michael Jordan: The Life, some Bulls employees discussed how Jordan and his teammates used to enjoy a few beers on the team bus… during which Jordan would heckle others, specifically team GM Jerry Krause: “Those guys would get a few beers in ’em back there, and then they’d start in on him,” one staff member recalled, singling out Jordan for being particularly ornery after he’d had a few brews (“Hey, Jerry Krause, this bus went faster yesterday without your fat ass on it!”).
Despite those accounts, a few denied them. Tim Grover, Michael Jordan’s former personal trainer and author of Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, denied that Jordan pounded a sixer post-game: “It doesn’t work. There’s nothing wrong with an athlete having a drink or two after a game, for relaxation. But alcohol doesn’t benefit recovery. In fact, it does the opposite if you’re drinking too much.”
Whether or not, Jordan pounded a sixer after a game is up for debate, but it sure makes for an entertaining legend.