Michael Jordan was so famous in the 1980s and 1990s that he would pay to have grocery stores stay open past their normal hours so he could shop without being bombarded by fans, a former teammate claimed Tuesday.
“You saw MJ doing laundry in the first few episodes [of 'The Last Dance'] and that was him back then, the countryside of him, just living like a regular dude,” Brad Sellers told The Undefeated. “But he just got bigger and bigger in basketball, to a point where he couldn’t go out. I remember saying to him one day, ‘Hey, M, how do you eat?’
“He told me he would call Jewel-Osco [a grocery chain] about 15 minutes before they closed, and let them know he was coming in. They would stay open later to let him shop.”
Jordan's former Chicago Bulls teammate said the superstar would tip the workers handsomely for staying late to help him out.
“He wasn’t making no $30 million a year; I’m sure at that time he was making less than a million,” Sellers said. “But it was a lot of money at the time and he made sure that he took care of people.”
Sellers didn’t say when the grocery-store excursions took place. Sellers was on the Bulls from 1986 to 1989. Jewel-Osco is primarily a Midwestern supermarket and is owned by Albertsons.
For an insider's perspective on "The Last Dance," check out Fox Nation's new show, "Guarding Jordan," where former NBA star and coach Jeff Hornacek reflects on going head-to-head against the NBA superstar in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals.