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Michael Jordan & Cigars

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

You can argue all you want about who is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) in basketball. Sure, there are plenty of LeBron James devotees. When it comes to being the greatest basketball player AND cigar smoker, it’s hard to beat Michael Jordan. Yeah, and he’s the GOAT in basketball too. But go ahead and argue.

Michael Jordan Loves Cigars

Jordan had his first cigar after he and his Chicago Bulls won their first NBA championship in 1991.

“Up to that point, I had never smoked a cigar, never smoked anything,” Jordan told Cigar Aficionado. “We won the championship, and Jerry Reinsdorf {owner of the Bulls] gave me one of his cigars. He's a big cigar smoker.”

Clearly, Jordan found something to like in cigars. He began smoking one before every home game beginning in 1993.

“In Chicago, I tell people this, and they have to understand the context of what happened,” Jordan explained. “We had to be to the stadium at 6 o'clock for home games, and traffic was so bad it would take us an hour and 15 or an hour and 30 minutes to drive. So now I'm sitting in a car for almost an hour and a half, and I'm very tense. I'm worried about the traffic. So, I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game.”

The cigar was a Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona. Jordan said it had great benefits.

“I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It's the most relaxing thing.”

Michael Jordan’s Favorite Cigars

Jordan generally likes big cigars. He has often said that his favorite is the Cuban Partagas Lusitania, a double corona, but he’ll smoke other cigars and sizes.

“Depends on the time, depends on the day, depends on what I'm doing. If I'm in a rush, I can go for a Robusto—not that it's not going to be rushing, but it's smaller.”

In a 2005 interview with Cigar Aficionado, Jordan said he had smoked the Partagas Serie D No. 4, the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2, and, on the morning of the interview, a Cohiba Siglo II. Clearly, he likes Cubans, but not too strong. During the interview, he was puffing on a Montecristo No. 2.

“…[T]hese are so strong. If I hadn't had anything to eat, I wouldn't touch this. These are for the end of the night, and I'm getting ready for the end of the day. If I had to smoke a cigar that I can get through, that would be an Esplendido [a Cohiba Churchill]. I can get through those.”

During the interview Jordan did for The Last Dance, a multi-part TV series on him and his basketball career, he had a Cohiba and a drink next to him. But the story goes that lasted only one day. His mom put an end to that, saying she didn’t like it. The cigar and drink disappeared after that.

Michael Jordan Smoking Cigars

In an interview with Cigar Aficionado in 2017, Jordan admits to smoking quite a lot.

”I smoke six cigars a day,” he said.

He said again that the Partagas Lusitania was his favorite.

“I like a big cigar, but I can smoke a smaller cigar, too,” Jordan explained. “I like variety. I like to experiment on different levels of cigars.”

When he plays golf, and he plays 36 holes a few days a week, he is smoking cigars. Big ones. Some articles have noted the high price of the Cuban cigars Jordan likes to smoke. Really? The guy’s a billionaire and keeps getting paid for endorsements, reportedly to the tune of more than $100 million a year. He’s not going to go broke smoking those increasingly costly Cuban cigars.

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