The broheims over at UrbanDaddy interviewed a Las Vegas "industry lifer" who offered up one recollection in particular that makes me genuinely fear for the life of Wayne Gretzky.
Rich Strafella, currently the Vice President of Operations for the Hard Rock Hotel, spoke about the good old days of gladhanding with Sinatra and chauffeuring helicopters for the kids of high rollers while also hinting at the darker, we'll-break-your-fingers-with-a-hammer side of the biz.
But no story was more chilling than this one:
UD: What's your best celebrity story?
RS: I remember a night when Wayne Gretzky insulted Michael Jordan at the table. It was a private salon game. Michael had ordered a drink from the cocktail waitress, and he gave her a five-dollar chip. Wayne took it off the cocktail waitress's tray, gave it back to Michael, grabbed a hundred-dollar chip from Michael's stack and put it on the cocktail waitress's tray. Then he said, "That's how we tip in Las Vegas, Michael."
That quip was fucking audacious, Wayne.
If there's one thing I learned during the course of my research into the psyche of Michael Jordan it's this: you do not do that. This is a man who, as far as I can tell, has decided to devote the rest of his life to smoking cigars and settling scores. And like, gambling's his thing. You think he's forgotten that embarrassing neg? Oh ho ho, that will not be forgotten.
It's not a question of whether MJ will punish The Great One for this (probably long-ago) transgression, it's a question of when. He stays up late at night with Charles Oakley, stroking his Hitler-stache and plotting the perfect revenge. Although actually, it's probably Janet Jones who should be most afraid: it wouldn't be the first time the comely actress was cast by her husband in the role of human shield.
On Comps, Sinatra and Breaking Your Fingers [UrbanDaddy]