Michael Jordan’s eyes have been a popular topic for those watching his interviews in The Last Dance. While some are worried about Jordan’s health, the discoloration of his eyes could be a benign condition, as the American Academy of Ophthalmology explained.
“The most common cause of the whites of the eyes taking on a brownish and sometimes blotchy color in African-Americans is melanin pigment in the surface tissue of the eye, known as the sclera and conjunctiva,” the organization noted. “This is benign and there is no treatment safe enough to use for such a benign condition.”
The Coloring of Jordan’s Eyes Could be Benign
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2020
All indications from Jordan are that he is in good health. The former Bulls star remains active as the Hornets owner and helping with the Jordan Brand business. Dr. Val Phua is an ophthalmologist at Eagle Eye Centre Singapore who spoke with Vice about the possibilities.
“Yellow eyes should not be ignored because they are a sign of something more going on,” Phua explained to Vice. “There is literally more than meets the eye. Leaving eye conditions untreated includes compromise in vision and even blindness.”
After looking at Jordan’s eyes, Phua expressed some concern but also noted that discoloration can be more apparent in people with a darker complexion.
“(Jordan’s) eyes are slightly discolored which may point to jaundice, but there seems to also be a slightly raised lesion on the eye, which can point to something local causing the discoloration like a pinguecula,” Phua noted. “… Yellowish discoloration of the eyes may be more obvious in a dark-skinned individual compared with someone who is fair-skinned.”
Jordan’s Trainer Revealed That Food Poisoning Was the Reason for the “Flu Game”
One of the things that The Last Dance sheds light on is how Jordan became passionate about health and fitness. Jordan began to put more emphasis on his body after spending the early part of his NBA career getting physically beaten up by the Pistons. Jordan teamed up with legendary trainer Tim Grover to create a health and fitness routine that would equip him to become an NBA champion.
Jordan’s “Flu Game” in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals was one of the rare exceptions where the legend was not in peak form physically. During an interview on the Pardon My Take podcast, Grover revealed that it was food poisoning that caused Jordan to be sick even during the game.
“One hundred percent it was food poisoning, 100 percent,” Grover said, per NBC Sports. “But obviously it just sounds better to be the ‘Flu Game’ than the ‘Food Poisoning Game.’… About 3 o’clock in the morning, I get a call to my room that just says, ‘Hey, man, come to MJ’s room’ and he’s literally curled up in the fetal position. I’ve not known any flu that can hit you that fast, but I know how quick food poisoning can hit you.”
As for Jordan’s current health, the NBA legend is not known to have any conditions that would have a negative impact. This will not stop people from wondering about the unique coloring of Jordan’s eyes as The Last Dance continues to gain new fans.