We figured it was about time we did an article about professional basketball’s Greatest of All Time, Michael Jordan, and his competitive spirit that reaches far beyond the court.
It is well documented that Michael Jordan is competitive to a fault. He will place himself in harm’s way, trash talk his opponents and risk everything to win at all costs.
While this might not make him a fun guy to be around all the time, it’s apparently what it takes to become the GOAT of the NBA. There are competitive people and then there is Michael Jordan. Let’s illustrate this with a few examples of Michael Jordan’s extremely competitive nature and undying drive to win. Victory must be acquired at all costs!
Michael Jordan is infamous for his absurdly efficient trash talking. The impact of his words on other people, and this even includes grown men playing pro basketball, may stem from a deep respect that is collectively shared by people for MJ.
One time, Chicago Bulls teammate Steve Kerr decided to talk back to Michael Jordan at a training camp scrimmage. MJ promptly punched him in the face, but Kerr got back up and didn’t back down. That’s how he earned Jordan’s respect! In Steve Kerr’s words, “He punched me in the face … It was one of the best things that ever happened for me. I needed to stand up and go back at him. I think I earned some respect. But, we have a great relationship ever since … you gotta prove it, and then once you prove it, you’re fine.”
It is also rumored that Michael Jordan’s bosslike trash-talking skills ended the career of Rodney McCray. Back in 1993, Jordan would challenge McCray to numerous $100 shooting games after practices. During one of these 1-on-1 showdowns, Jordan screamed in Rodney’s face, “You’re a loser! You’ve always been a loser!”
But, as we mentioned before, MJ’s desire to defeat people was not limited to the basketball court and he didn’t keep his trash talking there either! On one occassion, he went as far as trash-talking Bill Clinton on the golf course! While they were playing golf together, Jordan forced Clinton to play from the farthest-away tees with a simple, “You’re going to play from the little girls’ tees?”
Are you still not convinced? Well, maybe this will do the trick: In 1997 during the NBA Playoffs, Michael Jordan decided to light a cigar, wander into the opponents’ (the Washington Wizards) locker room and question them, “Who’s going to check me tonight?” Hah! Talk about boss…
He also called Muggsy Bogues a midget during the biggest possession of a game. Bogues was later quoted as saying it ruined his career. With the Bulls up by a point against the Hornets, MJ told Bogues, “Shoot it, you f###ing midget!”
Undying Will To Win
When Michael Jordan isn’t trash-talking people into retirement, he’s probably working his ass off to become better at something. In the 1986-1987 season, MJ was sidelined a long time with a foot injury. The next year, he reported for training camp with 3.4% body fat and able to run the mile in 5:22!
He’s really into the iPad game Bejeweled and is actually considered a “Demigod” on the game, because he’s passed level 100. He won’t even quit when he’s playing a video game on his tablet!
When he lost a game of golf against Dream Team head coach Chuck Daly in Monte Carlo, MJ proceeded to wake him the f### up the next morning by banging on his hotel room door until Daly agreed to a rematch. After another 18 holes, Michael Jordan won.
During the 1997 NBA Finals, in a pivotal game against the Jazz, Michael Jordan had a horrendous case of the flu and still decided to play. He scored 38 points in the game and the Bulls went on to win the series two days later.
A Competitive Spirit That Will Not Be Broken
When Michael Jordan turned 50 years old, he set a goal to get back down to his playing weight of 218lbs. This required a weight loss of over 45lbs!
According to Michael Jordan, LeBron James’ game is not flawless. Jordan said LeBron has the tendency to jump shoot when he goes left and drive when he goes right.
Michael Jordan also convinced himself he could play baseball. Need we say more?!
Is Michael Jordan a boss? Certainly! Could he be a little too competitive? Well… maybe…