Michael B. Jordan Praises ‘Big Brother’ Jamie Foxx As They Face Off in Basketball Shoot Off (Exclusive)
By Leena Tailor
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Lupus LA
There’s nothing like a basketball battle to bring out the rivalry between two Hollywood A-listers!
Actor pals Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan faced off in an action-packed shoot off at Dave & Busters in Hollywood, California, on Saturday. And, while things got humorously heated -- like when Foxx faced a shortage of (basket)balls -- Jordan opened up about how the two are in fact like family.
“I met Jamie when I was about 17/18 -- when I was really young and first moved out here,” the Black Panther star told ET before the “Pop A Shot” battle, which was part of his second annual MBJAM fundraiser for Lupus LA. “Playing basketball together, we had a lot of mutual friends and he’s just always been a mentor and a big brother to me. So, when I finally had something I could call somebody out to, I was like, ‘Hey, can you show up and help support this cause?’ and it was an easy conversation.”
Following Foxx’s appearance on the orange carpet, the two pals went up against each other over several rounds, with Foxx scoring 59 hoops to Jordan’s 43 during one bout, before Jordan took the last round scoring 61. Every hoop raised $20 for Lupus LA.
Having experienced a whirlwind few years as his starpower rocketed thanks to Creed and Black Panther, the support of an industry veteran like Foxx, 50, has been invaluable to the 31-year-old actor and philanthropist.
The greatest thing he has taken away from Foxx -- who recently took a moment while hosting the 2018 Bet Awards to praise Jordan for having “moved everybody [and] changed the culture,” with Black Panther -- has been learning about “longevity.”
“He’s a multi-faceted, talented man who can do so many different things and he’s always found a way to do what he cared about -- drama, comedy, action, hosting,” Jordan said. “He’s a man who wears many hats. I’ve also [learned from him] just being able to never take yourself too seriously. Just have fun and enjoy yourself.”
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While enjoying themselves was clearly the theme of the afternoon, the friends may soon get down to work together on the movie, Just Mercy.
Based on the book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, the court drama is based on a true story and will see Jordan starring as Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer fighting for equal justice. Foxx is reportedly in talks to play Bryan’s client, a death row inmate.
Jordan also reprises his role as Adonis Creed, opposite Sylvester Stallone, in Creed 2, which hits theaters on Nov. 21. The sequel follows Adonis as he prepares to go up against the son of one of his biggest enemies under the guidance of Rocky Balboa (Stallone), and Jordan teased that fans can expect some new but familiar characters.
“There’s a lot of familiar faces that weren’t really present in the Creed franchise, but were in the Rocky world,” he shared. “It’s going to be action-packed, but there’s still a lot of character and a lot of story.”
Jordan also has the 2019 Netflix series Raising Dion (which he’s producing and starring in) and the animated series gen: Lock (with David Tennant) in the works, so it’s no surprise he was relishing some downtime at the event.
Family, friends and fellow Lupus LA supporters including Master of None’s Lena Waithe, Suits and Shameless star Scott Michael Campbell, 13 Reasons Why’s Meredith Monroe, A Wrinkle in Time’s Storm Reid, TV host Mario Lopez and This Is Us actors Niles Fitch and Mackenzie Hancsicsak also showed up.
The celebs, many of whom brought their kids, were joined by 200 lupus patients and their families who attended the event for free courtesy of sponsors, and enjoyed sliders, mac and cheese, cotton candy and photo booth fun in between playing arcade games.
But as he sweetly planted kisses on her forehead while they hit the orange carpet, it was Jordan’s dear mom, Donna, who was clearly his most special guest at the bash, which raised more than $250,000 before it had even ended and was accompanied by an ongoing online auction. The money will benefit Lupus LA, which helps sufferers of the inflammatory disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans -- including Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon and Donna -- and over 60,000 people in LA County alone.
Jordan was only a young boy when Donna was diagnosed and he has since worked tirelessly with Lupus LA chairman and patient, Adam Selkowitz, to bring awareness and funds to the cause.
“With my success in the entertainment industry, being able to find an organization like Lupus LA and becoming an ambassador and then to put on my own charity fundraiser has been great,” said Jordan, who was previously presented with Lupus LA’s 2015 Loop Award for his work as an ambassador for the organization. “It’s just me trying to do my part.”
“My mother is the inspiration behind MBJAM, and my personal superhero,” he later added while addressing the crowd. “With lupus, it's not just the one person that's affected, it’s the whole family. I want to thank you all for coming out to support a cause that means so much to me and my family.”