Michael Jordan is known to be almost as intense during Chicago Bulls practices as during games. There are plenty of stories to back this up, but it’s always nice to hear something new in that context as it seems to continue to add to the legend of MJ.
MJ would not slow down
Former Bulls player Craig Hodges spoke to The Washington Post about how Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan brought out the best in each other.
“I can remember this time, I think in 1990, when Scotty decided to challenge Michael one day at practice.” Hodges said. “Michael kind of backed up half a second. He then proceeded to literally score Scotty at will. It was incredible. I mean, Scottie Pippen was one of the best players in the league even then, and Michael just dumped points on him. Scotty had to step back and say, “Slow down, man.”
Hodges helped the Bulls win their first two NBA championships in 1991 and 1992, and he and Larry Bird are the only players to make three consecutive NBA All-Star weekend three-pointers.
Jordan’s intensity was the key to his success in practice
“To deal with him [Jordan] Keep my head up, I knew what he was and who he was, and as far as he goes, he’s probably the best player to ever play the game. And to know that what I saw in practice was the same thing that I saw in the game, but now I saw it in practice, so I knew what he was about.” Hodges told VladTV.
Jordan is a combined 11-0 in NBA Finals, Olympic gold medal games, FIBA competition and the NCAA Tournament Finals. He is the only player in league history to score at least 22 points in all of his NBA Finals games and has won NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star Game MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Rookie of the Year. Awards of the year:
The way Jordan trains has a lot to do with his success. He never backed down from a challenge, and he replicated his intensity in practice against the rest of the NBA.
“Man, let me tell you, man, we thought this guy was just the devil.” Former Bulls forward Horace Grant said on an episode of the Scoop B Radio podcast:
“As far as how he practices, we thought we were the Detroit Pistons or the New York Knicks.” Grant explained. “This guy practiced so much and if you weren’t on his team, you were his enemy. And that’s how driven this man was, and that’s why you could say he was the best player to ever play the game.”