Jasmine Jordan Reveals What Makes Michael Jordan an "Incredible" Father

McKenzie Jean-Philippe

From Oprah Magazine

  • Since its April premiere, ESPN's The Last Dance has kept fans hooked with revealing interviews with NBA GOAT, Michael Jordan.

  • But Jordan has yet to open up about his five kids: Jeffrey Michael, 31, Marcus, 29, and Jasmine, 27, and 6-year-old twins Ysabel and Victoria.

  • Below his daughter Jasmine gets candid with OprahMag.com about her father.

Michael Jordan has shocked fans with his unprecedented candor in ESPN's breakout documentary The Last Dance. The 10-part series—which airs its finale this Sunday—chronicles the 1997-98 season of the basketball legend and his team the Chicago Bulls.

The show has offered unprecedented access to the famously private Jordan, who doesn't even have a public social media account. (A near unthinkable fact for a sports icon today). But on our screens in recent weeks, we've seen him tear-up while discussing both the tragic murder of his father James Raymond Jordan Sr.—which led to the athlete's first of three retirements in 1993—and the tough love he was known to show towards his teammates, like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.

But one subject he's still kept relatively hush about are his five children. He shares three with his first wife, Juanita Vanoy: Jeffrey Michael, 31, Marcus, 29, and Jasmine, 27. He has twin girls Ysabel and Victoria, 6, with current wife Yvette Prieto.

But his daughter Jasmine Jordan is tuning in with the other 5.8 million weekly viewers every Sunday to watch her dad talk about his storied career. Jasmine, who revealed she Googled her dad when he was a child to figure out why "he was kind of a big deal," has found her own success. She's an executive at Nike Jordan Brand, working with athletes from the Charlotte Hornets (a team owned by her father). Jasmine is also engaged to professional basketball player Rakeem Christmas, with the two welcoming son Rakeem Michael Christmas last May.

OprahMag.com spoke with Jasmine about her feelings on The Last Dance, motherhood, and what she wants people to know about her father Michael Jordan.

What's it been like seeing the positive response to The Last Dance, particularly on social media? It trends every Sunday!

I didn't expect it to be anything less, that's for sure. I definitely knew that people were gonna love it, but to see the responses and the tweets, and seeing people say they are even more motivated by the things that my father has said or done and the sacrifices he's made, it's been incredible. It's definitely been a warm welcoming every Sunday to see everyone just gear up for it.

Does the show bring back any memories?

I was only about 5, maybe 6 years old. I remember the atmosphere of going to the arena and being at the United Center. But now seeing the film of what was happening around me, I'm taking it in as a fan and really appreciating the moments for what they were. It's definitely been eye opening.

Has anything surprised you?

My father knew the sacrifices that he had to make to become the greatest of the game, but I think even he was a little bit surprised about how those sacrifices were really going to upset him and weigh on him a little bit. So I think that's something that's been definitely eye opening, and a conversation started between us. Like, 'I know you made sacrifices, but look what came from it, so don't question and regret it,' which I know he never would. But really seeing that emotional and humane side of him is something that I knew was there, but I loved seeing.

We obviously get to see his famed competitive side in The Last Dance. Did that trait rub off on you?

I think the competitive gene is definitely something that's within me. My siblings, there's no denying it, we're all super super competitive. It's just about channeling it in the right way. I have a lot of his drive and tenacity and grit, and I understand that if I want to commit to something I want, it's to the best of my abilities, and I don't wanna fail. I want to succeed, so I definitely think that competitiveness is in me in its own way.

How is working from home going?

I do work in an industry that is definitely force driven and customer facing, and it's taking a toll in trying to maneuver and adjust to our new norm, but I'm just trying to take it day-by-day and feel it out. I'm having Zoom meetings—they're like every two seconds—it's been super challenging, but it's a testament to our brand as Jordan and Nike really making sure that we can get through this, and we will.

Your son just turned one. Has motherhood been an adjustment?

View this post on Instagram

Never letting go | ✊🏾🖤

A post shared by Jasmine M. Jordan (@mickijae) on May 7, 2020 at 3:17pm PDT

I love being a mother. It's the best job in the world if you ask me. And you don't get paid a lot, but you get all the memories. Juggling it with work has been a true challenge, but over time you figure it out, map it out, and make a schedule and adjustments. I make sure that no matter what, my son comes first, but everything falls in line right after it. Just making sure I'm doing my duties as a mom, but I'm also a hardworking Mama, and I'm gonna get the job done.

How's your dad as a grandpa compared to when he was raising you?

My dad is definitely a little softer on my son. He's just trying to feel him out and figure out the role of being a grandfather, and he loves it. My son really has him wrapped around his finger. I'm grateful that I get to witness everything along with it.

What's the best lesson he taught you?

It goes down to just being yourself. No matter what, no one can tell my father who he is. He had to share with the world who he was, and that's essentially how he is today. He loves to reiterate to me and my brothers the power that you all have is just being yourself. We don't have to go into a room and announce our presence as Michael Jordan's sons, or daughter, or kids. It's definitely been a journey to really understand that perspective and appreciate the fact that he wants us to be our true genuine selves.

What's something you wish people knew about him?

I think people will probably be caught up in how he was as a teammate and what he had to do to become the greatest. But my dad is very caring, very kind, very sweet, and very gentle and I think a lot of people won't see that side of him because obviously The Last Dance is about the championship and the grit that he had to put in to get all six rings. I think a lot of people don't see that side or may not think it exists, but it definitely is there and that's what makes him an incredible father.

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