The Association of Magazine Media


Michael Jordan Gives Rare Interview in Special Anniversary Issue Cover Story

Plus: Magazine Unveils Website Redesign & “Readers’ Choice” Cover Challenge

New York, NY (October 12, 2017)—Some of the world’s most famous people have been on Cigar Aficionado’s cover—from Jack Nicholson to Robert De Niro to Arnold Schwarzenegger to Sylvester Stallone—and, for the magazine’s special 25th anniversary issue, which hits newsstands October 31, Editor & Publisher Marvin R. Shanken interviewed arguably the biggest name of them all: the legendary Michael Jordan, who gave his candid and provocative take on a variety of topics.

“When I created Cigar Aficionado in 1992, with both the cigar market and overall economy in bad shape, I didn’t do it for money and I didn’t give a damn that everyone told me not to do it. I did it because I love cigars, and I didn’t want to die without having a cigar magazine,” said Shanken. “Cigar Aficionado did better than anyone thought it would, including myself. It elevated cigars in the public eye and brought cigar smoking into the light, out of the shadows.

“I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing a long list of intriguing cigar lovers over the years, including Michael Jordan, the most popular athlete in history. He appears on our cover for the second time, and it’s a conversation I’m sure readers will enjoy,” added Shanken.

Video clips of the interview—including Jordan speaking on the Jordan Brand, on passion, basketball and baseball, on Tiger Woods, on golf, on his favorite cigar and visiting Cuba, plus footage of him smoking pre-Castro Cubans—are all available at

The 25th anniversary issue debuts alongside a newly redesigned, which is cleaner, sharper and easier to navigate. Website visitors have the opportunity to participate in the Readers’ Choice Cover Challenge, with the chance to vote for their favorite cover and be entered to win a special grand prize box of vintage cigars from Shanken’s own personal humidor. Voting takes place October 9 through December 10—with a total of six rounds in a March Madness-style bracket—and the winner will be announced on December 11.

Stories from the issue include:

The Mighty Jordan (pg. 62):
Michael Jordan lights up with Marvin R. Shanken to discuss today’s NBA, the “greatest of all time” debate, the impact of social media, the $3 billion Jordan brand, his father, his baseball stint and more.

Stars in Quotes (pg. 86): From George Burns to Sharon Stone, Cigar Aficionado dug up some of the best quips from its past feature subjects.

The Birth of Cigar Aficionado (pg. 99): You’ve known Cigar Aficionado for a quarter of a century, but the magazine’s story reaches back far longer.

Cuba, Then and Now (pg. 195): Cuba may have opened up, but despite a dark period, cigars are still its pride.

25 Years of Change (pg. 185): In the last two-and-a-half decades, cigar tastes have shift, brand loyalty has waned and the cheer variety of smokes has multiplied exponentially.

Leaders Look Back (pg. 104): Veterans of the cigar industry remember the world of the cigar 25 years ago.

The Editors’ Great Moments (pg. 126): The magazine’s editors reveal the standout cigars that shaped their careers.

Select Michael Jordan quotes, taken from the cover story, include:

On Tiger Woods, and the impact of social media: ”Tiger played at his peak somewhere towards the end of my career. What changes between that time to now? Social media, Twitter, all types of things that have invaded the personal time of individuals. I don’t know if I could survive in this Twitter time.”

On the Jordan Brand: "I don't want to just lend my name to a product. Because at the end of the day, that product is always going to represent my DNA...There's nothing that goes out with my name on it that we don't oversee, that we don't deal with."

On who is the greatest of all time: “I never played against Wilt Chamberlain. I never played against Jerry West. To now say that one’s greater than the other is being a little bit unfair…I won six championships. Bill Russell won 11. Does that make Bill Russell better than me or make me better than him? No, because we played in different eras.”

On today’s NBA, and stars ganging up to play on the same team: “I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they’re going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment.”

On how often he smokes: “I smoke six cigars a day maybe.”

On his father: “What would my father do right now? First of all he’d probably be sitting here smoking a cigar. The thing I remember the most about my father—and I had him for 32 years—I never look at it from a negative sense. Obviously he was murdered and rarely I do I get the chance to talk about him. I think about him practically every day.“

On failure: "To win you have to lose. To be successful, you have to have something that's not successful. To be happy you have to have disappointment…That’s what my father and my mother instilled in me. Take a negative and turn it into a positive. Don’t be afraid to fail."

On what’s on his bucket list: “Winning a championship in Charlotte.”

The special 25th anniversary issue of Cigar Aficionado, which offers the above and more, hits newsstands October 31.

# # #

About Cigar Aficionado
Launched in 1992, Cigar Aficionado is the definitive lifestyle magazine for men. Dubbed “The Good Life Magazine for Men,” the print publication and its accompanying website ( focus on luxury lifestyle topics such as golf, travel, spirits and accessories. Cigar Aficionado also sponsors events such as The Big Smoke, the country’s premier event for cigar smokers. Parent company M. Shanken Communications also publishes Wine Spectator, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact newsletter.


Thursday, October 12, 2017