Who: Sports greats, Bentley fans, Chanel-toting ladies, and the greatest basketball player of all time.
What: Trent Tucker Foundation VIP reception
When: Sept. 12
Where: Bentley Minneapolis, Minnetonka
Why: To celebrate Tucker’s star-studded poker tournament, raising money for his foundation that supports youth programs.
Question of the Night: “Have you seen Michael?”
So, apparently Minneapolis has a Bentley dealership. Which is a shame because I drove all the way to Chicago for my last Continental GT. But there it is, right off 394 in Minnetonka’s motor row, tucked between a few dealerships peddling less-exclusive autos. And on Friday night, the dealership’s showroom showcased more than a few hot cars as a VIP reception for former Gopher Trent Tucker and supporters of his nonprofit drew the likes of Kenny Lofton, Chuck Robinson, Charles Oakley, and BJ Armstrong.
Oh, and Michael Jordan.
That’s right, number 23, dressed in a tan blazer with red stripes that only he could make work, walked across the crowded show room floor early in the night, drawing a few gasps and high-fives before he disappeared into a corner room where he stayed for the rest of the night, facing toward a wall and away from the curious crowd. He was flanked by fellow retired NBA stars who acted as unofficial bodyguards, blocking most people who made the attempt to approach Jordan–which created a strange vibe during the otherwise laid-back party, as nonannointed guests struggled to get a glance at Jordan every time they crossed the room for a cocktail.
But let’s be fair, the man gets mobbed wherever he goes, and he deserves his privacy, right?
Not on this reporter’s watch. I gave my best doe-eyed look to Ron Harper, former NBA point guard, who wanted proof of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s existence (how dare he!) before letting me back to see His Airness. Luckily, he was standing in front of a “Best of the Twin Cities” plaque given to the dealership for grabbing the “Best Way to Blow $100,000.” Boo-ya. He let me pass, and after Charles Oakley and Brad Sellers got my best “pretty-please,” it was go time. The guys lined up, and Jordan turned around just long enough for my flashbulb to go dim before turning back to the wall. Oh well, a brief brush with greatest is pretty good, too.