With millions of dollars in endorsements to his name, it's hard to believe that Michael's parents once thought he was the least likely to succeed out of all their children. In his book Driven from Within Michael reveals that he never enjoyed working…all he wanted to do was play. Thankfully, playing really paid off!
Michael's brothers and sisters took jobs in North Carolina's tobacco fields to be able to buy themselves new shoes, bicycles and other childhood luxuries. But not Michael—he was content to go without so that he could pursue his true passion.
"I'd rather play basketball," Michael says. "And with that attitude, I think my parents looked and said, 'You know, that kid, if he ever had to work, he would have problems.' But with that in mind, that drove me to say, I don't want a 9 to 5 [job]. I want to be able to play. I don't care what sport."
That motivation obviously paid off! Now, in his retirement, Michael's become a bit of a daredevil. He's developed a passion for motorcycle riding now that his NBA days are over.