Why Michael Jordan's Eyes Have Fans Worried About His Health

The life and career of NBA legend Michael Jordan became a major topic of conversation in April 2020, after the premiere of ESPN's 10-part docuseries, The Last Dance. The project, which found a home at Netflix, features never-before-seen footage from the 1997–98 Chicago Bulls season, as well as interviews with Jordan and his then teammates, like Dennis Rodman. Even former President Barack Obama had a cameo, as he has a long history with the city of Chicago.

Although many viewers are interested in the revelations about the Chicago Bulls, others seem preoccupied with the appearance of Jordan's eyes. "What's going on with Michael Jordan's eyes?" sports radio host Ben Maller tweeted about the clips featuring the New York native. "They look to have a shade of yellow."

"Can a medical professional explain why Michael Jordan's eyes look like that?" someone else said.

For reference, eyes that appear yellow can indicate a health issue involving the liver, according to the Mayo Clinic, or it could signal a genetic disorder.

However, we don't want to speculate about the well-being of Jordan, so let's review everything we know about his health during and after his time in the NBA.

Michael Jordan's trainer former provides insight

Although some fans are convinced Michael Jordan has some sort of health issue because of his eyes in The Last Dance (seen below), the speculation doesn't seem to track with what his former personal trainer, Tim Grover, told The Chicago Tribune in 1996 about the athlete's commitment to well-being. "I don't monitor Michael's nutrition plan anywhere near as much as the younger players I consult," Grover said at the time about Jordan's healthy habits. "He's learned more each year what works for him, what gives him the most energy and stamina."

That being said, Grover did note that Jordan "tends to lose weight quickly" as he has a "high rate of metabolism." The trainer addressed this issue by advising Jordan to eat frequent and small meals throughout the day.

As for the NBA star's fitness, Grover told the Basketball Network in 2019, "Michael would shut down everything outside of basketball and just train. Three workouts a day: workout, golf break, workout, lunch, golf break, workout, dinner, bed. Every day."

Michael Jordan enjoys drinking and smoking cigars

Now that Michael Jordan is no longer a massive NBA star, he feels more comfortable talking about his fondness for what some might perceive to be "negative influences." Speaking about his passion for fine cigars and alcohol, Jordan explained to Cigar Aficionado in 2005, "I'm stepping away from that public image, from that other self that's been around for so many years. These are the things that I enjoy. These are the passions that help me get from point A to point B. The relaxation that I get from it."

Jordan continued, "I'm not endorsing anything, or telling kids they should pick up cigar smoking or drink beer. These are things that I enjoy. This is my passion. They are some of the things that I like to do."

As for those who might criticize Jordan for his choices, he had this to say, "At some point, you have to take your life back from the public, to enjoy it. And I'm at that stage where now I'm taking my life back from the public and doing the things that I enjoy doing." 

He added, "Yes, I enjoy working with kids and giving them positive things to think about, about how to get from where they are to where they want to be. But that doesn't mean that I can't be the person that I want to be and do the things that I want to do."

Michael Jordan opened a health clinic

Although Michael Jordan hasn't spoken in-depth about his health, he has been forthcoming about his desire to improve the well-being of others. The athlete addressed this sentiment in 2019 when he launched the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in Charlotte, N.C. The facility serves Charlotte residents, including "underinsured and uninsured patients," as CNN reported. The clinic boasts "12 exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a physical therapy space," as well as a "full-time social worker" to provide "social support services to patients," the outlet noted.

Jordan said in a statement about his $7 million gift, "I feel very fortunate to be able to give back in this way, because I believe that your ZIP code or neighborhood should not determine the quality of your health care – or whether or not you can even get care at all."

Circling back to the speculation about Jordan's eyes, unless the ex-NBA star decides to address the rumors, there's no way to prove whether the concern is valid. In the meantime, fans can check out what Michael Jordan was drinking during his The Last Dance interviews.