One of the great successes of Netflix of late was The Last Dance, the 10-part series about the life and times of the basketball superstar Michael Jordan.
And some of the most fascinating parts of that series concerned his love of gambling – a love that he has been feeling so deeply, and for so long, it seemed that he was prepared to bet on almost any proposition that he encountered, at any time of the day or night.
Apart from Saudi Arabia the card games and the golf games for high stakes, he would happily gamble for low stakes, too. In one scene we saw him immersed in some kind of a game of pitch and toss with a security man. To Jordan’s chagrin, the security man beat him. Which reminded us of Jordan’s own interpretation of this great love of his life, an assessment which goes something like this: he was never addicted to gambling, as such, he is just a fiercely competitive person in all things.
So if he was addicted to anything, it was to competition.
A fine distinction you might think, but it gets better when you hear others weighing in with their analyses, most notably the commentator who believes that Jordan has a gambling addiction, but not a gambling problem.
It is an apparently strange insight, yet I understand it in a somewhat different sense to the one intended by that commentator – we are all aware of people who are addicted to…