Since Prince’s death yesterday, plenty of fascinating tidbits about the life and times of the eccentric yet private artist have been surfacing or recirculating online. One of the most delightful anecdotes concerns the Purple One’s interest in sports—namely the 1990s Chicago Bulls.
It’s no secret that the Minneapolis Sound architect was a passionate fan of Minnesota sports franchises. He was a common sight at Timberwolves, Twins, and Vikings games, and he even wrote a song, “Purple and Gold,” about his favorite NFL squad. And as anyone who watched Chappelle’s Show knows, the dude could ball; he’d take on all comers on a basketball hoop installed at his Paisley Park rehearsal space. But according to a Notorious magazine profile that’s been making the rounds, Prince also was so fanatical about watching Michael Jordan’s Bulls that he didn’t let concerts get in the way of TV time:
Once during a concert in Montreal, the Chicago Bulls were in game three of the playoffs and he was watching the game from a TV at the side of the stage while he played guitar solos. He had his wardrobe girl draw up big cards and flash the score at him.
Apparently the feeling was mutual. Jordan called Prince a “genius” in a statement yesterday to TMZ:
Like so many people I am shocked at the news that Prince has died. In a world of creative performers, Prince was a genius.
His impact not just on music, but on culture, truly can’t be measured. His songs inspired me throughout my career and remind me of so many moments from my life.
His greatness will live on through his music, but this is a sad day for his fans—me included. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.