Albert Einstein and Michael Jordan are two names known throughout the world. Both men are icons in their respective fields, the former for his groundbreaking theory of relativity, the latter for his out-of-this-world basketball skills.
Despite being generations apart and living vastly different lives, Einstein and Jordan’s lives paralleled each other in certain areas. And even though everybody wants to be like Mike, the truth of the matter is that Einstein is actually cooler than Jordan.
Here are five ways the renowned genius is way cooler than the NBA legend.
- Einstein was expelled from school; Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
Not that we’re glorifying getting expelled, but these legends are prime examples of people who did not let their failures define them. They, instead, worked to overcome these challenges.
Einstein was initially thought to be mentally challenged by his parents and teachers because he only learned to speak when he was four years old and to read when he was seven years old. He failed his university entrance exam and was even expelled from school at one point.
— Noodle (@NoodleEducation) November 3, 2015
Michael Jordan was not expelled from school though, but he was suspended thrice for various reasons. The future NBA legend was reportedly cut from his high school basketball team as well. However, Jordan’s coach at the time, Clifton Herring, cleared the air and said that Jordan wasn’t cut from the team but rather placed in the school’s JV team.
- Both were afraid of the water but Einstein was passionate about sailing.
Michael Jordan developed aquaphobia or fear of water because of a traumatic childhood incident, in which he saw one of his friends drown in the ocean. Einstein was also deathly afraid of the sea and didn’t even know how to swim. However, he developed a love for sailing when he was in university, and his enthusiasm for the activity remained with him his entire life.
— Boating Magazine (@boatingmagazine) September 6, 2015
- Jordan starred in the hit movie, Space Jam, and was also made into a cartoon character. However, Einstein was the inspiration behind Yoda, the venerable Jedi master.
What better way to relate to your young fans than to be a cartoon character that they watch every Saturday morning? Michael Jordan was elevated to new heights of coolness when a cartoon named ProStars ran for two seasons during the early 1990s. The cartoon revolved around three sports stars – Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Wayne Gretzky – who fought crime, helped children, and protected the environment. Several years later, Jordan also teamed up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters in the movie, Space Jam.
Michael Jordan was a Cartoon Character in ‘ProStars’
Albert Einstein, yet again, trumps Jordan’s Hollywood coolness. As it turns out, the scientist’s eyes and wrinkles were the inspiration behind the wisest and most powerful of sages – the Jedi master Yoda. It’s also been said that Einstein was among the models used for the animatronic E.T., the Extra Terrestrial. Steven Spielberg reportedly asked special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi to incorporate the features of Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, and Carl Sandburg in E.T.’s eyes and face.
If you ever thought Albert Einstein and Yoda look similar, you’re not imagining it. https://t.co/OVaxbD8Yvq pic.twitter.com/yx3CxmMAFY
— Mental Floss UK (@mentalflossuk) December 2, 2015
So while Jordan created some happy Saturday morning memories for kids, Einstein inspired several generations of sci-fi nerds.
- A salmonella strain was named after the basketball superstar; a medical condition carries Einstein’s name.
Way back in 1993, long-time Michael Jordan fan Dr. Standord Shulman had a patient that had salmonella. After some tests and checking with the Atlanta Center for Disease Control, the doctor discovered that this was a new strain of salmonella and named it Salmonella mjordan.
A condition similar to Einstein’s aforementioned delayed speech development is now called the Einstein Syndrome. The term was coined by Thomas Sowell and is used to describe children like Albert Einstein, who are highly intelligent but whose speech development is delayed.
- Jordan’s basketball jersey was stolen once. Einstein had something stolen, too – his brain.
On February 14, 1990, someone stole Michael Jordan’s #23 jersey from the team’s locker room. What’s worse is that the incident happened one hour before the start of a game. Since they couldn’t recover the jersey and they were rapidly running out of options, the Chicago Bulls’ equipment manager found an extra jersey that had the number 12 that they kept for emergencies. Jordan wore that jersey to the game, and it was the only time he wore that number. Unfortunately, the Bulls lost that game to the Orlando Magic.
Michael Jordan wearing a #12 jersey after his #23 jersey was stolen prior to a game against the Orlando Magic, 1990. pic.twitter.com/QpT0lAXJ92
— Historical Sport (@HistoricalSport) September 22, 2015
Albert Einstein died in 1955, and as per his instructions, he was cremated and his ashes scattered. But before he was cremated, his brain was taken without permission by a pathologist named Thomas Harvey who did his autopsy. The pathologist kept it for study and was able to secure permission from one of Einstein’s sons. But when Harvey insisted on not returning Einstein’s brain, he was terminated from his job. He kept the brain for over 40 years in two mason jars and every couple of years or so, he would send a slice to a scientist. Harvey quietly returned Einstein’s brain to Princeton University in 1998.
Images of Albert Einstein’s Stolen Brain Surfaced
[Images by Chung Sung-Jun and Jamie Squire, Getty Images]