There’s an old gambling idiom about losing your shirt on a bad bet. But to my knowledge, there’s no saying about losing your pants, glasses or hair as part of an epic cold streak.
That’s what happens when you’re on the wrong end of a bet with legendary gambler Michael Jordan.
At least that’s Saturday Night Live‘s version of events. This week’s show—hosted by actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele fame—featured a sketch in which Peele portrayed Michael Jordan in what was presented as a deleted scene from last year’s docuseries, The Last Dance, that highlighted Jordan’s last season with the Bulls.
The sketch shows an extended version of the now-famous scene from the documentary in which Jordan loses a game of quarter tosses against a wall to a United Center security guard, who celebrates his victory by mimicking Jordan’s patented shrug. As the sketch shows, Jordan was not content to let the loss go without a fight.
In the sketch’s version, John Michael Wozniak, portrayed by ‘SNL’ cast member Heidi Gardner, wins a $5 round, then proceeds to keep on losing as the stakes are raised with each throw. Wozniak’s down a clean $9,000 by the time Charles Barkley, another notorious gambler, shows up and ups the bar again.
When Wozniak can’t keep up with the dollar amounts being risked, that’s when the clothing and eyewear start getting offered up—along with some more, let’s say, unsavory forms of payment.
It’s unlikely the real Jordan ever went to such lengths to embarrass and financially ruin the real Wozniak, though MJ clearly was not a gracious loser in the actual events that took place. He takes issue with the way Wozniak’s coin rolled to the wall before dismissively telling him to, “Get the hell out of here. Go protect the damn United Center.”
Wozniak probably knew how much Jordan loves gambling—and winning—but he might have realized how fortunate he was to escape that hallway with his money (and all of his clothes) intact.
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