The unique color of Michael Jordan’s eyes in The Last Dance has caused some fans to be concerned about his health. It is important to note that Jordan has not discussed any health issues, but this has not stopped some from speculating. Dr. Val Phua is an ophthalmologist at Eagle Eye Centre Singapore and discussed Jordan’s eye discoloration during an interview with Vice.
“[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.”
As Express points out, Jordan’s eyes have had a similar look for the “better part of the past two decades.” Jordan played well before HD (High Definition) was commonplace on televisions, and his eyes have been much more of a focal point during the up-close interviews of The Last Dance.
Jordan’s Eye Discoloration Could Be Benign
Eye discoloration can be a cause for concern, but there is also a chance that it is benign. The American Academy of Ophthalmology detailed potential causes for “brownish and sometimes blotchy” coloring of eyes.
“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 issue is not always benign which is why some fans are concerned. If left untreated, Phua explained that yellow eyes can lead to compromised vision.
“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.”
Jordan Became Passionate About Health & Fitness During His NBA Career
It has become commonplace for NBA players to have personal trainers, chefs and strict fitness routines that they follow. It was not always the case, and Jordan began to adopt his own philosophy after several early playoff exits with the Bulls. Jordan linked up with trainer Tim Grover to develop a routine to gain muscle and ensure he could endure the physical punishment he was taking on the court.
“In order for MJ to be that good at what he did, he had to have a method,” Bulls teammate Ron Harper explained to Jordan.com. “A game plan. He took care of what he needed to do on and off the court.”
Jordan began the infamous Breakfast Club with some of his teammates which included early morning workouts. The gatherings were as much about getting his teammates in the right shape as it was about Jordan maintaining top form.
“(The Breakfast Club) was more about Michael showing us how to preserve our bodies, (that) there’s more to just playing the game,” former Bulls guard Randy Brown told Jordan.com. “It taught me how to take care of my body, taught me how to eat right, I learned how to practice, I didn’t know how to practice until I got around these guys, it taught me the importance of being ready.”