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Remember That Time Wayne Gretzky Called Michael Jordan Out For Being Cheap?

(Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/ Getty Images)
(Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/ Getty Images)

When we hear the names Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan, we typically think of them being some of the greatest athletes in their respected sports of all time, not being bad tippers. We mean, they have literally millions of dollars, so the least they could do is properly tip the people serving them, right? Here, we recount the time Wayne Gretzky embarrassed Michael Jordan for not tipping well in Vegas.

Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky
Michael Jordan (left) and Wayne Gretzky (right) in New York, circa 1999. (Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/ Getty Images)

Anyone who has seen Michael Jordan play basketball, or watched Netflix’s hit docu-series The Last Dance knows that Jordan is competitive in the game of basketball. However, he’s also competitive in other aspects of his life, including wagering bets on the golf course or in Las Vegas casinos. Because he was Michael Jordan, many people were scared to put him in his place or stand up to him.

Wayne Gretzky, on the other hand, was not afraid to call Michael Jordan out on any bad habits. In 2010, the Vice President of Operations for the Hard Rock Hotel, Rich Strafella, gave an interview with UrbanDaddy, in which he told a story about Michael Jordan’s tipping habits.

Michael Jordan celebrating
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls celebrates after winning game six of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. The Bulls won the game 87-86 to win their sixth NBA Championship. (Photo credit: ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Strafella recalled, “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.'”

It’s unclear how Jordan responded to Wayne Gretzky’s insult, but this wasn’t the only instance of MJ being a cheap tipper. A number of different stories claim that Jordan has earned as much as $1 million during a single sitting at the tables, but has refused to tip even a single dime.

Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan
Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley (34) laughs at a foul call with Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan (23) during an NBA game at the United Center in Chicago, January 28, 1996. (Photo credit: BRIAN BAHR/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen is also a notoriously cheap tipper. In fact, NBA Hall of Fame inductee Charles Barkley boldly stated in an interview with late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien that “no one is cheaper than Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.”

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“I always give homeless people money and [MJ will] always slap my hand and says, ‘If they can ask you for spare change they can say ‘Welcome to McDonalds, can I help you please?'” Yikes. Guess money doesn’t buy everything – like common decency.

Madeline Hiltz

Madeline Hiltz is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News