On SI's Fan Nation, Chris Ballard says that he once heard a story about Michael Jordan losing a game of one-on-one to a camper at his high-end "Flight School" in Las Vegas.
Lo and behold, after a little research, Ballard was able to watch video of the day John Rogers Jr., founder and CEO of the nation's largest minority-run mutual fund, beat a post-Wizards era Michael Jordan in a game to three.
Ballard describes what's on the tape:
The game begins, fittingly, with Jordan still ribbing a previous victim. "Don't be mad at me, I'm just too good," he booms. "What, you think I had this camp just so you all could beat me?" Taking the ball first, Rogers drives right and lofts in a runner. Then he goes left to hit a leaner. The crowd of 150 or so -- campers but also coaches like John Thompson and Mike Krzyzewski -- begins to murmur. Predictably, Jordan evens it, and the end appears imminent until... Michael misses a jumper. Then he clangs another!
So Rogers again hurtles left and, nearing the hoop, jumps off both feet. Jordan, clearly into it now, times his leap to swallow up the shot. Only Rogers, in a move he's practiced a thousand times but that still appears impossibly awkward, leans away from MJ as if eluding the curl of a crashing wave. He spins the ball up, up, up and over Jordan's fingertips, off the glass and in. On the video the first thing you hear is Jordan ("Oh, no!"), followed by comedian and camper Damon Wayans, who jumps at the chance to mock MJ. (Lest you think Jordan had lost his edge, he immediately brought Wayans onto the court and humiliated him 3-0.)
Naturally, Jordan demanded a rematch with Rogers, right? Actually, he didn't. Instead he hugged Rogers -- the two go back a ways from Jordan's days in Chicago -- and said, not so huggably, "Next time we're on the court together, I'll show you what it's like to play in the NBA." But that has yet to happen. Rogers hasn't been back to Flight School, and MJ stopped playing campers a few years ago. As for Rogers, he had DVDs made from the tape and dispensed them to friends and employees, because, well, wouldn't you?
If there are a lot of people out there with video of this, I demand that someone make it available for all of us to see. How is this not on YouTube?
And what's most amazing about this is not that somebody beat Michael Jordan. It's that so few did, that out of decades of playing basketball, there are barely any stories like this.
Thanks to Randy for the link.
UPDATE: Here's video of some kid at a Jordan camp years ago hitting three straight against a not-trying Jordan.
UPDATE: You know how golf is the game of those who want to get ahead in the upper reaches of business and politics? Wouldn't the world be a great place if that game was basketball instead? It kind of is, in a small way, thanks in part to John Rogers, Jr. and the power game he reportedly plays in with Barack Obama and several other Chicago bigwigs.