There are a number of acceptable excuses for a celebrity to miss a big press conference. A serious personal matter with family. An illness or injury. Some sort of massive traffic build-up or travel delay.
Does being down $900,000 in a game of spades that lasted for a day and a half qualify?
According to longtime NBA star Antoine Walker, a Chicago native who helped to play a part in Michael Jordan's comeback to the NBA for the 2001-2002 season, that's exactly what forced Jordan to postpone a press conference. No, not just any press conference. The press conference to announce his comeback plans.
Walker joined Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden on CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" to share a classic Michael Jordan story involving his competitiveness, their friendship and just a little bit of gambling.
"...When Mike calls, the buy-in goes a little higher. Let me just start with that," Walker explained. "So it's gonna be a number put on that everybody got to bring to the table. I'd say probably $20,000. Gotta have 20... just to get in. You ain't got 20 to get in, you can't even play, so that starts that.
"And then Mike is competitive, man. I remember one time we played spades for 36 hours. We were playing against two other guys. Me and Mike were partners and... they had us stuck, behind 900,000.
"What made it even more interesting, it was the day he actually was supposed to make his announcement he was officially coming back. He canceled the press conference, everything. We played for 36 hours, man."
For what it's worth, I probably would have conceded defeat somewhere around, oh, $899,950 ago, but I'm not a big gambler. With stakes like those, I likely wouldn't even have been allowed to come within a mile of the table.
They also weren't playing with markers of some sort — they were using cold, hard cash.
"This is what happened: I was leaving for Boston in a couple days, so I had about $100,000. I was always a cash person, I had my money," Walker recalled. "MJ had about $200 (thousand) on him. MJ sent for half a million, cash. Sent for it. And then the other guys we played against had money, too. So they had us down $900,000.
"We got all the money except $20,000. Mike did not want to see them with 20, so they ended up winning 180. He got too tired, we couldn't go no more. He was falling asleep at the table... Every gambling session didn't go 36 hours, but we had some competitive gambling sessions."
If you somehow missed out on "The Last Dance" and you weren't quite sure how deep Jordan's competitive side went, this serves as a pretty good off-the-court example. Battling back from down $900,000 would have been insanely impressive, and you'd have to wonder where such a feat would have ranked on MJ's list of all-time greatest comebacks should it have come to fruition.