Apart from being a 6-time NBA Champion, and 5-time MVP, Michael Jordan was perhaps the most skilled player ever to have appeared in the NBA. He was firmly entrenched in finding his way out and he only wanted desired players around him. Consequently, when the Chicago Bulls decided to trade his close buddy Charles Oakley to the New York Knicks as a swap for Bill Cartwright in 1988, Michael Jordan was ready to unleash hell for ‘Medical Bill’ within the team.
The 10-time scoring champion reportedly fired Cartwright with challenging passes during practices to ridicule and make a mockery of Cartwright. He additionally warned his Bulls teammates not to pass on the ball to Cartwright during crucial parts of the match.
However, the three-time NBA champion knew he had enough of Jordan’s harassment and approached him by standing in his face, firmly blaming him for inciting their teammates against him. Furthermore, Bill warned Jordan that he would break his legs if he encountered harassment once more.
“I don’t like what you’re saying to our teammates about me,” Cartwright told Jordan. “I don’t want you to do it anymore. If I hear you do it again, you’re never going to be able to play basketball again because I’m going to break both of your legs“, he added. (h/t via Archysport)
Michael Jordan had a win-at-all-costs addiction and was extremely keen to do everything to satiate it. He hated to lose, which frequently led to some contentious discussions with a few teammates. While Phil Jackson coached the Bulls as their coach from 1989 to 1998, some claimed that Michael Jordan had greater influence over the team. He frequently raised the intensity during practice, which led to numerous altercations with other players.
Michael Jordan was often hard on his fellow teammates
An excerpt from The Last Dance was recently posted on Twitter by a page, and it exposes numerous instances in which Jordan bullied teammates for his benefit. The 14-time All-Star describes in the clip how he needed to express his outrage to inspire other players while Scottie Pippen was wounded. The Bulls’ training session was evident in the video, and MJ was visible coaching his teammates on the court.
Some of Jordan’s teammates struggled because of his verbal assaults. Scott Burrell, a Bulls player from 1997 to 1998 and MJ’s punching bag, left him feeling “worthless”. Bulls player Steve Kerr, who was a member of the team from 1993 to 1998, called Jordan’s abuse “degrading.”
In a 2016 interview, Kerr revealed that Jordan punched him in the face while they were working out their usual practice routine. Jordan’s actions, according to Kerr, were not unexpected, but he acknowledged that Jordan was attempting to inspire him. Kerr did add, however, that the episode was “unprofessional” and “uncalled for.”
However, other teammates claimed that Jordan’s criticism inspired them to become stronger as athletes. Jordan’s longtime teammate and buddy, Scottie Pippen, claimed that the taunting made Him “tougher.” Horace Grant, a Bulls player from 1987 to 1994, claimed that Jordan’s aggressiveness helped him become “a better rebounder.”