Add another to the countless stories surrounding boxer Mike Tyson and his infamous short temper. A new book tells about the former heavyweight champion's heated moment with arguably the greatest basketball player of all time at a Chicago restaurant.
In “Taming the Beast: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson,” Tyson’s longtime friend and manager Rory Holloway recalls how Tyson was at a restaurant with Michael Jordan, Don King, Mike Ditka and Richard Dent following the breakup with his wife Robin Givens.
Givens and Tyson were married in 1988, but they divorced on Valentine's Day 1989. The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, and Givens reportedly received a settlement of more than $10 million.
Jordan had dated Givens before she met Tyson. The relationship that Jordan had with Givens apparently rubbed Tyson the wrong way.
“Mike Tyson’s sitting there with his drink of choice, a Long Island Tea, and when he drinks, his real feelings come out …,” Holloway writes.
“I’m telling the server to water his drinks down 'cause I see where this is going. Mike stares across the table at Michael Jordan. He says, ‘Hey, man, you think I’m stupid? I know you f----d with my b---h.’
“Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost. ‘I know you messed with her,’' Mike says."‘You can tell me.’
“It’s obvious [Jordan] just wants to get up and run. He wants no part of this. Mike turns to Ditka. ‘Man, you think somebody scared of you, all that racist s--- you been talking?’ He says to Dent, ‘Y’all scared of this damn white man, Richard? He ain’t nobody. You gonna let him talk that way?’
“It was a circus, for real, that night. Don King trying to change the subject. Me and John trying to hold Mike down. Mike telling everyone he’s going to bust Jordan’s ass. Jordan’s dressed sharp as always and he can’t get out of there fast enough.”
In 1989, Jordan was about 26 and Tyson was about 23. Both athletes were arguably the most prolific active American athletes at the time. Jordan was averaging well above 30 points per game in the late 1980s, while Tyson remained undefeated until his loss to Buster Douglas in Feb. 1990.