April 11, 2018
It can't be easy growing up with the name Michael Jordan if you're not the Michael Jordan.
Got an "A" on your test? Yeah, how about six NBA championships, Mikey boy? How about five MVP awards? How about "Space Jam?"
On that last point, "Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan actually does have the NBA legend beat. That doesn't mean he feels ready to meet the man who defined greatness for an entire generation.
In a ranging interview with Men's Health, the "Creed" actor and California native goes in-depth about his motivation to excel, the joy of social media, the struggle for racial equality and future plans in film. He also explains his thinking behind the whole Michael Jordan complex.
"I'm competitive. I want to compete in anything I do. That came from my name. Growing up in sports and having a name like Michael Jordan and being teased, I had to compete. I couldn't be the guy with the name and not be good at it. That carried over to everything. I'm like, 'I've got to be just as great if not greater than he was in his field."
How about playing the villain in a film that broke the box office record set by "Titanic"?
"I never met Michael Jordan. I never want to officially meet him until I'm at a point where he knows who I am and I know who he is. And it would be our mutual-respect thing. Until then it would just be a, 'This guy has your name, ha ha.' I don't want that. So that pushes me to keep working too. These things motivate me."
Jordan will next appear in the film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451, which premieres May 19. You might also see him training for "Creed II" at Sweat Fitness in Old City, but don't freak out. The sequel to the hit revival of the Philly franchise is due out this November.
If you want to check out Jordan's full interview with Men's Health, the magazine hits newsstands April 17.