Eminem once threatened to dunk on Michael Jordan, perhaps bringing to light the times the Detroit Pistons kept him from the NBA Finals
Detroit legend Eminem once threatened to dunk on Michael Jordan at the end of a business call where the two were discussing a potential sneaker collaboration with Jordan’s athletic brand.
Speaking to Sway on Shade 45 (a satellite radio station co-founded by Eminem himself), Eminem talked all things hip-hop, but also touched on Michael Jordan in light of the 10-part MJ doc, The Last Dance which airs each Sunday night over the next several weeks.
Eminem revealed that one time, he thought he completely blew a business opportunity for himself because he threatened to dunk on Jordan.
“Everything was good until we get to the end of the phone call and I said, ‘Yo man when are you gonna come to Detroit so I can dunk on you?’ And it was crickets,” Eminem said. “In my head it was a total joke. It’s so ridiculous for me to think I could dunk on Jordan, right? So in my head it’s one of those things that you think it gonna be funnier in your head than when you actually say it.”
The cringe-worthy moment stuck with Eminem, and he mentioned that the embarrassment didn’t dissipate once he and Jordan hung up the phone.
“When I got off the phone, I’m thinking, ‘I don’t think he knew I was joking.’ Cause you know, he’s very, watching this documentary, he’s very competitive.”
Noting that he doesn’t remember exactly who he called first, he reckons it must have been his manager Paul Rosenberg.
“You felt kind of mortified it,” Rosenberg, his manager said.
Eminem, mortified? That’s pretty tough to envision, but if anyone can do it, it makes sense that it would be someone with the stature of Jordan.
Sway went on to compliment Eminem’s game but noted it, “wasn’t Mike Jordan nice.” Eminem said he felt he was “one step” down from Jordan, jokingly.
Since Eminem is synonymous with Detroit, bringing up a basketball challenge to Jordan might have recanted some of the memories Jordan has regarding the Detroit Pistons, who were a notable barrier for Jordan in the late 80s as he tried to lead the Chicago Bulls to a championship. Perhaps that’s why Jordan clammed up and didn’t really respond to the challenge.
Talking about The Last Dance itself, Eminem talked about how he was blown away by Jordan’s work ethic and talent working harmoniously and seeing him tap into higher levels as he continued to work. Eminem has ascended to a level of great success in his own right, having been honing his musical craft for over 30 years now.
Jordan would probably have his way with Eminem on the court, but likewise, Jordan (or, anyone, for that matter) shouldn’t challenge Eminem in his craft (NSFW lyrics):
Jordan and Eminem have collaborated on sneakers following the call, so safe to say all is well between this Detroit legend and Jordan.
As for some of the legends in the Detroit Pistons and Jordan, the relationship might be a little more strained. We very well could find out more tonight in episode 3 of The Last Dance.