Black-ish star Anthony Anderson appeared on this week’s episode of Conan Needs a Friend to talk about his sitcom, his relationship with his mother, and the ABC game show that’s hosted by Anderson and his mother, “To Tell the Truth.” Conan O’Brien, however, wanted to talk about Michael Jordan, with whom Anthony Anderson has a close friendship.
“He’s very competitive,” Anderson told O’Brien. “He talks a lot of sh*t, and he’s a fun dude to hang around with. But every little thing with MJ can be a competitive thing.” For example, Anderson spoke about playing golf with Michael Jordan, who is a better player than he is. One game, however, Jordan gave Anderson 10 extra golf strokes on a bet, and Anderson had a particularly great game — I was “on fire” — and was able to beat Jordan with the handicap. “He threw the money he owed me at me, and said, ‘You’re never getting strokes again.'”
That, however, is nothing compared to the first time Anderson and Jordan met. Jordan and Anderson were in the Bahamas for an opening of some sort, and Anderson traveled with his own dominoes. He had no idea that Jordan would be there, so he brought a set of dominoes with Jordan’s Jumpman logo on the case, which led to a conversation between the two (MJ wanted to know where Anderson got the case). Anderson eventually challenged Jordan to a game, telling MJ that he considered himself to be “the Michael Jordan of dominoes.”
“He turned to my wife,” Anderson continued, “and he said, ‘Sweetheart, I suggest you go to the bank and take out as much money as you can because after I whip his ass, he will not be able to provide for you and your children.”
Anderson was shocked. “I just wanted a friendly game of bones with my basketball hero!”
The next day, Anderson and Jordan played, and Anderson brought his camera along to document the game (Ahmad Rashad was there playing, as well). Anderson declined, at first, to talk trash to Jordan because he just wanted to enjoy a friendly game. However, “MJ is talking cash sh*t. He’s talking about my momma. He’s talking about cash trash, and I just had to sit there and take it.”
At one point, however, Anderson gained an advantage in the game, and fed up with all the trash talk, he turned to Jordan and said, “This is going to be the hardest 25 points you’ve ever had to score in your life. Let’s go.” Anderson put aside the fact that he was playing his basketball hero and stepped up his game.
“Conan,” Anderson says. “I commenced to whip his ass in dominoes. He doesn’t score another point. I am talking so much trash that, before I domino, I say, ‘Oh my God, I wish me and my wife could go upstairs and make another baby right now because we would name him or her MJ just so we could relive this moment right now, and when my baby got older, she would say, ‘Daddy, why did you name me MJ’ and that’s when I’d relive the moment when I just whipped your ass. DOMINO, MOTHERF***KER.”
After the game, Anderson and Jordan had to spend the next three days on the island together, and Jordan was so sore about losing to Anderson in a game of dominoes that “he refused to talk to me. Whenever we were taking a group photo, he’d ask… no, he didn’t ask. He told me to get out of the picture.”
“And that’s how our friendship started,” Anderson said.
After doing more than 100 of these podcasts, Conan confesses to Anderson that his Jordan story is “one of my favorite things to ever happen” on his show. It’s definitely worth listening to, and it starts around the 42-minute mark in this week’s Conan Needs a Friend.