There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth last month at the news of Michael Jordan's acrobatic withdrawal from the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament at Stateline, Nev. Particularly annoying for many fans who had devoted large hunks of time — and considerable coin — to get to the tournament to see him was the fact that Jordan bailed only two days before the event.
Now comes the news — OK, rumor, really, courtesy of the gossipy-yet-scenic Lake Tahoe Mountain News — that the tournament's conspicuous lack of Jordan was due to what we suspected all along; his enormous gambling Jones. Jordan, said the paper, was not welcome back at Harrah's casino (which co-sponsors the event and provides lodging for the celebrity participants) until he had paid his tab from last year. Which is probably mighty considerable, and most likely consists primarily of poker and blackjack losses. And which he refused to do. We imagine we're talking Charles Barkley dollars here, only with
larger smaller tips.
Oh, and the paper also recounted the story — again, couched with the rumor tag — of how Harrah's sent a large "collection agent" named Taco to Sacramento (about 100 miles from Tahoe) to collect a similar debt from Chris Webber. How did that episode go? Well, Webber was in attendance at the tournament this year.
Tahoe Celebrity Golf; A Look Back [Deadspin]
Jordan Cites Personal Reasons For Withdrawing From ACC [Tahoe Daily Tribune]