‘I Never Realized How Physically How Hard It Is, What You Have to Do, in the Scrum’
Michael Jordan didn’t trust many media members during his Hall of Fame career, but the select few he did received special access. Ahmad Rashad is the most famous reporter who got close to the Chicago Bulls legend. Jordan and the host of Inside Stuff became best friends and hung out often before and after Bulls games.
However, Rashad wasn’t the only media personality who developed a rapport with Jordan. In fact, one female reporter befriended His Airness so well that she broke two huge MJ stories and got the NBA superstar to appreciate her job.
Michael Jordan watched reporter work hard in Chicago Bears locker room
Cheryl Raye-Stout covered Jordan during his iconic run in Chicago and gained the MVP’s trust by always telling the truth and working hard on her craft. In an interview with Chicago sports historian Jack M Silverstein in 2020, Stout talked about how she developed a bond with Jordan and why Black Jesus appreciated her job after observing her in the Chicago Bears locker room.
“I would take the time before games, and I would also go to practices,” Stout said. “They would have night practices during training camp, and I would go to those because that was a time you could have one-on-one conversations with him. We would talk about all sorts of things. That’s how I was able to talk to him about baseball. I don’t know what I did differently. I just think it was because I was different, and I was a female, and he recognized that too. One day he was in the Bears locker room, and he saw how I had to work, and he said to me, ‘I never realized how physically how hard it is, what you have to do, in the scrum. But I now have a better appreciation for what you do.’ He was very observant of what I did, and we just hit it off.”
One of Stout’s biggest assets was her ability to break major stories, and two such accounts were Jordan’s decision to play baseball in 1994 and his return to the NBA in 1995.
Cheryl Raye-Stout broke two enormous Michael Jordan stories
Along with Jim O’Donnell, Stout broke the story of Jordan playing baseball in 1994 for the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. She also broke the news of Superman coming out of retirement in 1995 to rejoin the Bulls near the end of the 1994-95 season.
“When I would write stories about him, and he would hear what I did, I would say, ‘What do you think?’ And he would say, ‘No, you’re fine. I’m fine with it.’ (I would say), ‘If I’m doing anything wrong, tell me because I want to make sure I have the truth.’ And he was always fine with that,” Stout told Silverstein.
It’s fascinating that Jordan had a strong relationship with Stout. The star reporter was certainly lucky to cultivate a friendship with the six-time champion, who is widely recognized as the greatest basketball player ever.
MJ had a flawless career
Most of the best players in NBA history have lost in the Finals at least once. However, Jordan went a perfect 6-0 in the Finals and never had to play in a Game 7. That’s how flawless his career was.
In 1,072 games with the Bulls and Washington Wizards, Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He’s first in NBA history in points per game, first in player efficiency rating, fifth in points, and third in steals.
Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. He became the majority governor of the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 and is presumably motivated to win a seventh championship.
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