Michael Jordan was a fierce competitor and he demanded the most from his Chicago Bulls teammates.
Jordan then suggested that Burrell guard Jud Buechler instead.
“Yeah, that was the first day of practice,” Burrell told me on today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. “MJ started his torment of me going at me on the first day of practice.”
Buechler had heard that many couldn’t take criticism from His Airness. “Guys needed to be traded and guys were moved from the team because they couldn’t take criticism from MJ.”
“I really didn’t care if I broke ’em,” Jordan once said.
“And if they did get broken, they’re not going to be any help to us when we need ’em the most.”
Burrell would join the then-New Jersey Nets after the Bulls disbanded after the 1997-98 season.
Currently a head coach at Southern Connecticut State University, Burrell’s career is admirable. During his senior year of high school at Hamden High School in Connecticut, he was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners.
He decided not to and played at the University of Connecticut.
During the 1990 NCAA Tournament, Burrell hurled a full court pass with 1 second on the clock to Tate George, who hit a shot as time expired to beat Clemson in the East Regional Semi-final in the 1990 NCAA tournament.
Burrell was the first player in NCAA history to amass over 1,500 points, 750 rebounds, 275 assists and 300 steals.
During his freshman year at UCONN, he was again drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays during and he spent three summers playing for minor league affiliates St. Catherines Blue Jays and Myrtle Beach Hurricanes.
He stuck with basketball and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 20th pick in the 1993 NBA Draft
During a 1999 interview on Nets Slammin Planet via 620 AM -One-On-One Sports, Burrell told me he didn’t regret his decision to stick with basketball. “Yeah I definitely would,” he said.
“I mean I enjoyed playing it, I think the competition of playing against the best in the world every night is a challenge that I enjoy.”
Appearing on today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Burrell tells me he’s still glad he that stuck with baseball. Additionally, we also discuss that Nets team from the late 90s with players like Kendall Gill, Jayson Williams, Stephon Marbury and others on that roster.
Check out notes from our dialogue below:
Scott Burrell on his reasoning for choosing basketball over baseball:
“I don’t regret it. I would have liked to see how far it would have gotten, but I enjoyed everything that happened in basketball. What I learned from it, gotten out of it, the friendships I built, the competitiveness, where I played at, the people I played against…the places where it has taken me; its taken me to almost every continent and that’s because of the game of basketball. So I have no regrets playing that.”
Scott Burrell on his days playing as a New Jersey Net:
“We were close to being really good!…We were just young. Keith Van Horn, Stephon Marbury…our starting five was really young. And I think if they just got some more pieces and let us grow together, we could’ve been good. I think they just didn’t give us enough time for that team to grow and learn how to compete together.”
Scott Burrell on the biggest difference between playing with the Chicago Bulls and playing for the New Jersey Nets:
“I would say the motivation to be great every night or every day. Playing in Chicago, there’s NO days off. It’s be at your best. Compete EVERY night you step on the court. Be at your best mentally. Knowing our plays, our schemes on defense, and just being able to compete at the highest level every day and hopefully it carried over into the game.”