Lair Jordan: Who needs it?
By rick telander February 29, 2012 10:46PM
Updated: April 2, 2012 9:47AM
They say a man’s home is his castle. Guess it works the other way, too.
Michael Jordan’s resort/sanctuary in suburban Highland Park, now on the market for $29 million, is the home that he, and divorced wife Juanita, are casting to the wind.
Well, not the wind. But to somebody with so much money that he or she can’t fathom it without multiple “Scarface’’ cash-counting machines.
What do you actually do with 56,000 square feet of living space?
Back in the Bulls glory days, Michael could have roped off 10,000 square feet for himself and each of his dependents and still had 6,000 square feet — an eighth of a football field — left over for Scottie Pippen, Ron Harper, Charles Oakley and their cigars.
The softly-cushioned, NBA-precise basketball court would seem to appeal only to a stay-at-home, pickup-game-loving, gazillionaire or, just thinking here, the Bulls themselves. Indeed, the Berto Center practice facility down the road in Deerfield is only 22,000 square feet and would fit in Jordan’s garages.
There’s also a three-bedroom guest house, a tidy site for, say, a new-age Kato Kaelin. Perhaps Jerry Krause could live there. Certainly a bass pond could be landscaped into the estate
This sale means that Michael and his legend are essentially uprooted from Chicago. Jordan maintains a condo downtown, but so do lots of empty-nesters. Mike belongs to Charlotte now, and putting greens around the world.
In most ways, the Jordan mansion is like so many of the shrines-to-oneself that sports stars seem compelled to build.
Former White Sox Frank Thomas, for example, built a 41-room, 29,000-square-foot house in Oak Brook awhile back. It was odd because Frank was something of a loner, and just cleaning three dozen empty bedrooms would be a reminder of such.
Then there’s faded football star Terrell Owens, who has somehow burned through $80 million, and has had two of his condos in Dallas foreclosed upon and is trying to sell a mansion in Atlanta, after dispensing of one in South Jersey.
The list of ridiculous, unneeded, vanity-laden homes is long, but Mike Tyson, naturally, wins.
The fighter owned a 56,000-square-foot atrocity in Connecticut, with 38 bathrooms and a nightclub, which he sold to rapper 50 Cent for $4.1 million, $20 million less than the house had once been listed for.
We won’t worry about “Hoops Mike’’ going broke — Jordan made an estimated $60 million from endorsements and such in 2011. But we can wonder about the old lovely Spanish saying : “Mi casa su casa.’’
My house is your house.