FRANK Brickowski had a memorable battle with Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman during the 1996 NBA Finals.
But the highlight of the journeyman’s 13-year spell in the NBA was the night he walked into one of Michael Jordan’s all-night poker games.
Frank Brickowski clashes with Dennis Rodman during the 1996 NBA FinalsCredit: Getty
The Seattle SuperSonics forward fights for the ball with Michael JordanCredit: AFP
Brickowski once walked into Jordan’s $2million all-night poker sessionCredit: Getty
The former Seattle SuperSonics forward was hanging out with Charles Oakley in a hotel one morning when the New York Knicks bruiser got a phone call from Jordan.
The two then went up to the NBA legend’s hotel suite and were astonished by what they saw.
“Charles Oakley comes up behind me and grabs me and we laugh,” Brickowski told The Oregonian.
“He gets a phone call and he says, ‘I’m talking with Brick,’ and then he says to me, ‘Let’s go.’
“So I just follow him out the door, we go to this other tower and we up and we go to Michael’s suite and he has a gambling game still going on from the night before.
“It’s nine o’clock in the morning and I look around the room and all I see is piles of cash.
“My mind goes to, ‘We’ll put sleeping gas under the door, everyone will get knocked out and we’ll split the profits’.”
Only later did Brickowski realize that $2million in cash was being gambled with.
“I saw Oakley later that night and said, ‘Oak, how much money was in that room? There must have been a million dollars in that room’,” he added.
“He held up two fingers – there was $2million in cash in that room.”
Jordan’s gambling habits were legendary but Brickowski defended the Hall of Famer.
“Michael had a propensity to gamble, he could afford to gamble,” he says.
“You can say if that’s a problem or not, or judge him, but I don’t judge him.
“The guys who made the money and enjoyed the gambling, it gave them a way to escape from the game and the grind.
“Michael is a normal dude if he’s in a safe environment and he creates the safe environment.”
During Game 3 of the 1996 NBA finals, Rodman memorably managed to get Brickowski thrown out after taunting him.
The Bulls won the game 108–86 and the series 4-2, securing their fourth title in six years.
Brickowski retired the following season and went on to work for the National Basketball Players Association.