“My friend drowned and died and he was going to take me with him”: Michael Jordan dished on his harrowing experiences with water and how it led to a phobia

Michael Jordan has had several incredibly harrowing experiences with water and hence has developed a phobia for it. 

Michael Jordan may have looked invincible when on NBA hardwood but like every other person in the world, suffers from something that keeps him grounded. A phobia of water is what did it for the Bulls legend as he’s had horrible experiences with bodies of water ever since he was 7-8 years old. 

In an interview with Playboy in 1992, Jordan revealed the time when he was 7 or 8 years old and had to experience a close friend’s death up close when in a body of water.

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“I went swimming with a close friend one day and we were out wading and riding the waves coming in. The current was so strong it took him under and he locked up on me. It’s called the ‘death lock’ when they know they’re in trouble and about to die. I almost had to break his hand. He was gonna take me with him.” 

When asked if he saved his friend, Michael Jordan said, “No he died. I don’t go into the water anymore.” 

Michael Jordan has yet another horrible experience with water. 

Merely a few years after the aforementioned incident, Michael Jordan would almost drown when at baseball camp at the age of 11. Fortunately for him, he was saved by a bystander who helped in the nick of time.

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Jordan would also have a girlfriend during his first few years in college who sadly drowned during one of the breaks. 

With all these harrowing experiences combined, it makes sense as to why Michael Jordan stayed away from water as long as he did. During a 2013 interview however, it was revealed that he was making subtle progress in ridding himself of the phobia of water, in an effort to appease his wife who reportedly loves the water and sailing trips. 

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