NBA icon Michael Jordan has many nicknames: ‘Air Jordan,’ ‘His Airness’, ‘The G.O.A.T.’ (Greatest Of All Time) and grandpa since 2019. Michael’s eldest daughter Jasmine Jordan, the mother of his young grandson, says that although Michael “loves being a grandpa”, the title took some getting used to.
In a recent Facebook Live interview with ESSENCE, Jasmine revealed that Michael wanted his grandson to just call him ‘Mike’ instead of grandpa. “It was something that he had to warm up to,” said Jasmine. “At first he wanted my son to call him ‘Mike’ or ‘Michael’ and I’m like, ‘Dad, we’re not doing this. You have to accept the grandpa title. It is what it is.’”
Michael Jordan changed his mind after he “actually got to see” his grandson, 1-year-old Rakeem Michael Christmas. On an episode of the TODAY Show in 2019, Michael spoke about how much he enjoys spending time with his grandson. “It’s fun because I can actually hold him and play with him and I’m having fun watching him,” he said.
During a recent interview with The Undefeated, Jasmine Jordan spoke about what her legendary father is like as a grandfather to young Rakeem. “He’s so soft. He’s super involved. And my son has him wrapped around his finger,” she said. “It took him a minute to actually understand like, ‘Dang, I’m a grandpa.’ He never wants to feel like he’s old, but he is a grandpa, and he loves it. He loves playing with his grandson and it’s something that I think he never knew he was gonna love as much as he does.”
Jasmine Jordan shares baby Rakeem with her fiancé, professional basketball player Rakeem Christmas. Though they can’t see each other so easily due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jasmine explained that Michael and baby Rakeem “hang out as much as they can” and that they communicate “like 24/7” over FaceTime and Zoom. “They have an incredible bond and relationship already so I’m excited to see that develop as my son gets older,” says Jasmine.