This is the best story I've seen come out of "The Last Dance." Obviously everybody is getting to re-live and learn more about Michael Jordan and the Bulls, but human interest stories about people we otherwise would have never known about are always some of my favorite things to see or read.
Everybody noticed John Michael Wozniak give MJ his own signature shrug after beating Jordan in a game of quarters in last night's episode, but it turns out his life story is far more interesting than just being one of Jordan's bodyguards at the arena.
The Athletic — John Michael Wozniak was a decorated Chicago narcotics officer who worked security at the old Chicago Stadium. Jordan developed an affinity for him early in his career when, while parking Jordan’s SUV, Wozniak accidentally shattered the back windshield after failing to account for the spare tire hanging on the vehicle’s rear. (Nicholi retweeted an anecdote describing the car in question as a Ford Bronco, although he says his dad told him it was a Chevy Blazer.)
Wozniak apologized to Jordan for the damage, telling him that he had a newborn (Nicholi) at home but would pay for the repairs upon receiving his next paycheck. Jordan appreciated the honesty and made special requests for Wozniak’s presence afterward.
“Michael appreciated excellence in whatever it is you did,” Nicholi said, before speaking of his father. “He was a helluva cop and a helluva dad. He was hard as shit on us but would be humble enough to tell us, ‘Hey, I was wrong there.’ Or would say, ‘I’m sorry, I love you.’ He could be the most tender guy and then would just put the fear of God in us.”
The Chicago narcotics officer with a mullet and two MJ tattoos who, in his free time, got paid to hang out with Michael Jordan after smashing the back windshield of his car. Now that's a life story.
Wozniak passed away in January, but last night had to be one of the coolest nights of his son Nicholi's life. I can only imagine the stories he has from his dad about being around Michael Jordan all the time that he's told people for years who probably shrugged him off and didn't believe anything he said.
On Sunday, once he saw his father’s celebrity take off, Nicholi texted Jordan, joking that someone with crazy hair other than Dennis Rodman had stolen the show.
“Lol,” Jordan replied, according to Nicholi, before telling him that Lett, Travis and his father would always be in his heart.
I don't see why Jordan said he thought this documentary would make people think he was a bad person. Anything that might make people think that was already very well known and stories like this actually make him look far more human and likable than anyone would have previously thought.
It's cool to see that the guy who has always been sort of reclusive since his retirement and whom many people might not know much about still keeps in contact with people like his old bodyguard's kids.
RIP to the legend Hollywood Wozniak.