Michael Jordan may have appeared unstoppable when playing on an NBA court, but he experienced challenges that kept him anchored, just like everybody else in the world. The legendary Bulls player had a phobia of water as a result of terrible incidents he had around bodies of water when he was 7-8 years old.
Although Michael Phelps, a legendary Olympian, is arguably the greatest swimmer of all time, Michael Jordan, a basketball legend, startled Phelps at a talk show in 2012, just before the Ryder Cup. Naturally, Jordan challenged Phelps to play a round of golf, but he was hesitant to dive into the water with him.
“I remember once talking to him about things he feared, figuring he’d mention death or serious injury,” Smith wrote. (h/t via NBA) “He mentioned swimming since he said he couldn’t and feared the water as he’d once seen a friend drown.”
Jordan talked about the time he was 7 or 8 years old and had witnessed a dear friend’s demise up close while in a body of water in a 1992 interview with Playboy. During Jordan’s initial few years of university, he had a girlfriend who tragically drowned while on a break.
Understandably, Michael Jordan avoided the water for as long as he could despite numerous terrifying incidents. However, it came to light in a 2013 interview that he was subtly overcoming his aversion to underwater activities to please his wife, who adores the water and sailing excursions.
Michael Jordan realized the meaning of life after his friend’s death
A childhood pal of Michael Jordan’s passed very tragically when he was just 7 years old. He drowned after falling in while he was playing beside a pond. Jordan was deeply affected by his buddy’s passing, which had a catastrophic impact on him.
In an interview, he claimed that the electrical current in the pond engulfed him before he got hold of Jordan. When someone is about to pass away, it’s known as “the death lock.” Michael was close to breaking his hand since his friend was trying to pull Jordan with him.
#DidYouKnow Michael Jordan has aquaphobia (fear of water). As a child, he witnessed his friend drown in the ocean and has been afraid of water ever since. He was born on #ThisDayInHistory. pic.twitter.com/2INGYTeEl0
— HISTORY TV18 (@HISTORYTV18) February 17, 2020
“At one point, the current was so strong that it swallowed him, and he grabbed onto me. It’s called ‘the death lock’ when someone can die. I practically had to break his hand, he was going to take me with him,” Michael said.
Even though Jordan’s friend’s passing was devastating, it also influenced who he evolved into as a human being and as an athlete. He discovered the value of resilience, hard work, and cherishing the time spent with loved ones. In addition, he had a profound appreciation for basketball, which he used to pay tribute to his friend.