Michael Jordan on how he stayed motivated every game: “I’m a competitor and I need something to drive me. Every game this season I felt like someone was trying to take something from me personally. So that was my motivation.”
After retiring, Jordan would miss playing basketball in a way that few would ever know.
“There’s something about his induction that bothers me,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said about Jordan’s entry into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. “It bothers me that he should be part of a class. He should go in by himself, not so much as an honor for Michael but for the Hall of Fame.”
“We’d run a three-man shooting drill in practice,” former Bulls assistant Johnny Bach recalled. “And Michael always made sure he had the threesome he wanted. Not Trent Tucker, not Johnny Paxson, not Craig Hodges [among the best 3-point shooters in the league].
He’d say, ‘I’m calling my pigeons up to shoot.’ They were shooting for some remuneration. He’d force himself to shoot under pressure. He needed a challenge to beat [Scottie] Pippen. He knew Horace [Grant] had a nice shot. He’d also throw some wicked passes to [his shooters]. You’re supposed to honor the code to throw a good pass to the shooter, but he had a way of throwing screwballs and sinkers. Not that he would have tolerated that. That was imperial Michael at his best.
‘Run it back, run it back,’ is what Michael yelled when his team lost. It is what he said whenever he had lost.”
“Everyone heard of our famous card games,” said former Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong. “Why did they last forever? Because Michael never loses. Whatever he’s doing, he’s going to win because he’s going to keep on playing.”