Skip to main content

Michael Jordan Rejected Idris Elba: NBA World Reacts

Michael Jordan attending an NBA game with his wife.

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 14: Charlotte Bobcats owner, Michael Jordan sits beside fiance, Yvette Prieto during the Golden State Warriors versus Charlotte Bobcats game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 14, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

During a recent appearance on Complex's hit show "Sneaker Shopping" with Joe La Puma, English actor Idris Elba shared a story of the time he pitched himself to play Michael Jordan in a movie.

But, Elba says the six-time NBA champ turned down the request.

In response to La Puma asking the movie star if he'd ever met MJ, Elba revealed that he'd run into the Hall of Famer "once or twice."

I even said to him one time, ‘I want to play you.' He was like, ‘Hm, I’m not ready yet.’ That’s what he said, ‘I’m not ready yet.’ … I was dead serious.

"The Wire" star went on to explain how he'd approach the role; more interested in Michael Jordan the billionaire businessman, rather than his incredible hoops career that speaks for itself.

In my head, playing Jordan wouldn’t be about playing the basketball player; it was about the businessman. He is a very astute businessman, really smart. And his work as a philanthropist is unspoken, but people don’t understand the work. He cares; he does a lot of work. So that’s where I was hinting at. I wanna play Jordan – I’m doing that. He was like, ‘Ah, I’m not ready for that story yet.'

NBA Twitter had quite the reaction once Elba's Jordan story hit the internet.

"MJ to Idris Elba," joked one user.

"Y'all wasn't there..." tweeted Deadspin's Carron J. Phillips.

"Mahershala Ali would be insane in a Jordan biopic," another user said.

"I mean, Elba is 49, and a biopic about middle-aged Mike running the Bobcats into the ground by drafting a bunch of stiffs out of UNC wouldn't be very interesting," commented another. "Although I will say, I'm kinda curious who would play Sean May."

"Per usual an Aquarius don’t think anybody can do it right he probably wanna play himself," another cried.

It wasn't a "no"...