Michael Jordan is one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball.
Jordan’s individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals and much more.
As accomplished as MJ is, he also had a penchant for being quite competitive.
Even in practice. Just ask steve Kerr! MJ once punched Kerr during practice.
“Unbelievably competitive,” Kerr told NBA scribe, Landon Buford.
“Never seen anyone compete the way he did in practice every day. He set a competitive tone that was not for everyone, but he made our team tougher and help prepare us for the playoffs. He helped prepare us for big moments and he raised the bar for us. It wasn’t always easy, but it was effective.”
“This guy was just the devil,” Horace Grant told me of MJ on Scoop B Radio.
“When I say the devil that’s out of respect. In terms of the way he practiced, we thought that we were the Detroit Pistons or the New York Knicks. This guy practiced so hard and if you weren’t on his team in practice you were his enemy.”
Chicago struggled with the Pistons from 1988-90 before having a turnaround in 1991.
The Bulls swept Detroit in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, progressed to the NBA Finals and beat the Magic Johnson-led Los Angeles Lakers.
“The thing that stands out the most is that I believe the league wanted Michael to win the championship and I believe we got in the way,” former Detroit Piston,John Salley told me on Scoop B Radio.
Salley was the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises. The former host of Fox Sports’ Best Damn Sports Show, Period also holds the distinction of being the first player in NBA history to win a championship in three different decades.
Salley later became MJ’s Chicago Bulls teammate in the late 90s and won a championship with the Phil Jackson-coached ball club.
“MJ was a force in practice every day,” Steve Kerr told Landon Buford.
“He was the Angel when it came to winning championships. And that’s how driven this man was,” he said. “And that’s why you can say that he was the best player that ever played this game.”