Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 1980s! A heady time, when Michael Jordan was a star basketball player instead of a meme, Charlie Sheen was a lithe young actor with no public record of insanity, and the two could be in the same room and have it be a corny and fun basketball game, rather than 4 a.m. in the high rollers’ room at a secret casino somewhere beneath Los Angeles.
The occasion was a 1987 TV show called War of the Stars — not to be confused with Battle of the Network Stars from the ’70s, and certainly not Pros vs. Joes. Hosted by a resplendent Dick Van Patten, the show pitted Jordan (then 24 years old) against Martin Sheen (then 47) and his son Charlie (then 22) in a series of basketball challenges. It’s 14 minutes long, but somehow remains entertaining throughout on the strength of all three competitors taking the event just a bit too seriously.
Of course, that’s par for the course for MJ, who had this to say about whether or not he’d try: “I think it’s going to be a very competitive thing. I think they’re going to come out and try to beat me, and I’m going to try to beat them.” Back in 1987, either Jordan hadn’t fully become the full-on competitive sociopath he’s famous for being, or America hadn’t yet caught on. Either way, you can almost feel how adorable that statement would have been back then. Now, it’s nearly chilling.
Also, look at Martin Sheen go! At 47 years old, he’s out here throwing alley-oop passes and canning the occasional jumper. Martin Sheen was Andre Miller before Andre Miller. And no, I won’t tell you who won, because it’s a fun video and you should watch it to see what happens.