It’s best to start this post by saying that there’s no way these Michael Jordan stories can ever be completely verified, even if they are coming from long-time Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach. It’s been almost 20 years since Jordan played his last game with the Bulls, so I think the statute of limitations has run out for vetting these bad boys. Plus, these showed up on the Internet as an email from a friend who had dinner with Bach. Red flags all around.

That being said, when you read these stories, you’ll agree that they’re so very Michael Jordan that they must be true. Here’s the first, which starts out innocent enough, then takes a turn for MJ ruining people pretty quickly.

Who was the better defender?  Pippen was one of the best and most gifted defenders of all time.  But MJ was the better defender.  Michael could shut down anyone in the world for a 3 minute span.  The best he’s ever seen.  (I was pretty shocked by that, but man what does that tell you about MJ, unbelievable.)  Jordan was the most ferocious competitor Bach has seen in all his years of basketball.  Johnny said physically Jordan and Pippen were about the same as defenders.  But when you add in MJ’s ruthlessness and trash talk, that put him ahead of Scottie.

When Johnny was coaching with the Hornets in 1995 they had a good team.  Glen Rice, Mourning, Johnson.  Series was tied at 2 and Hornets had a chance to win game 5 in Chicago.  On the biggest possession of the game, Mugsy had the ball with the Hornets down 1.  Jordan backed off of him and told him: “shoot it you f—ing midget.”  Mugsy shot it, didn’t come close.  A year later Mugsy actually told Johnny Bach that he believes that single play ruined his career.  His shot never recovered.

Yikes. Like I said, no way of knowing if this is true. But I think we can all agree that it is very likely that Michael Jordan would say something along these lines. He called out his high school basketball coach in his Hall of Fame induction speech, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he used Muggsy Bogues’ height to destroy his career during a first round playoff series.

Next, how about a story of Jordan messing with Charles Barkley during the 1993 NBA Finals? Here you go.

The day before game 4 of the Bulls Suns finals with the Bulls leading the series 2-1.  Michael and Charles Barkley went golfing.  They played 48 holes of golf.  And Michael bought Charles a $20,000 diamond earring.  Johnny asked MJ, “what did you do all that for?”  Michael responded, “he won’t get in my way the rest of the series, what’s $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we’re great friends.  I hate that fat f—.” Jordan dropped 55 in game 4 and Barkley never touched him once.

Again, might not be true, but definitely seems true. Jordan never thought golfing before a big game was a big deal, would think nothing of spending 20 grand on something that is going to get him an edge on his competitors, and Charles Barkley did wear earrings. And I certainly wouldn’t put it past Michael Jordan to use his friendship with another player as a way to get in his head. Jeff Van Gundy accused him of doing that way back in 1997, so it would surprise me less than jake zero percent if this happened.

For the last time, it’s impossible to know if these things really happened. There’s no way Jordan would never comment on them, let alone say whether they’re true or not, so remember that. But also remember this is Michael Jordan we’re talking about here. Literally any psychological warfare strategies that you can imagine are on the table. It’s up to you to figure out whether that’s good or not.

(via KevCops)

Comments (37)

  1. Dude, it’s been nowhere near 20 years!

  2. It’s pretty amazing how incredibly unlikable Jordan comes across in almost every account I’ve read of him.

  3. Well, 1998. So 13 years. Close enough.

  4. he sounds like a great guy =p

  5. I’m prettty sure Mugsy is a little more mentally strong than that. If you make it to the NBA at his height, you probably heard worst.

    But yeah, Jordan’s a dick.

  6. “I hate that fat f___k.” I don’t know why but this made this laugh out loud. All these stories are so cruel that it’s almost comical.

  7. I do love the unlikable Jordan stories, but Charlotte was never 2-2 w/ the Bulls in 1995. They were 1-1 going into Chicago and got blown out in Game 3. Also, Rice and Mourning weren’t on the same Hornets team, they got traded for each other. MJ is probably still an a-hole though.

  8. Funny how people who have never met the MJ think “Jordan’s a dick”…

    I’ve never met him, so I wouldn’t know what to assume. Assumptions makes you as much a prick as the person you’re making assumptions about.. just sayin..

    • Look up Chamillionaire meeting Michael Jordan on youtube. The accounts of MJ being a dick are by people that have met him and interacted with him. I don’t know if he is one, but that’s what the evidence point to. Although I won’t make a definitive judgement.

  9. Less Than Jake? I see what you did there.

  10. I’m pretty sure Jordan would call Barkley a fat f__k, seeing as
    1. Barkley was fat
    2. Jordan was/is a dick (not meant as an insult tho, he’s one of very few people who is entitled to be a dick)
    3. Barkley had the reputation of being lazy, and I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fly with Jordan.

  11. Both accounts do sound somewhat Jordanesque. That Muggsy Bogues line is right there with Larry Bird’s “Merry F***in’ Christmas” line (if that one really happened) for my favorite statement (allegedly) made on a professional basketball court…

  12. Couldn’t help it… 20 years! It’s been 13 since 1998 and less if you count his Wizards “comeback”….

    As years pass it seems Jordan and Jordan stories will take a turn to becoming myth/legend … This is of course normal as he was the fiercest competitor in sports… But does it really matter now? Can’t we just enjoy what he left and move on… I prefer Pippen as a personality, but there are cocky people everywhere – cocky managers, professors, intellectual snobs, good looking snots… It’s not letting it get to your head.

    The debate is not whether he was cocky or a dick even, but whether he had also walked the walk on all the talking he did – I think we can safely say he did.

  13. I can’t hate on the guy.

    I once told a guy his mom slept at my house in an attempt to get into his head. It didn’t work because he blocked me on the next possession. You do what you gotta do to try and get into your opponent’s head.

    And what’s Muggsy complaining about…. Matt Roloff from ‘Little People, Big World’ didn’t let the word ‘midget’ stop him from growing successful pumpkins – or ride tractors for that matter.

  14. I’ve never met MJ, but I’m pretty confident punching Steve Kerr in practice is a dick move, whatever JRS4 thinks.

  15. Michael Jordan was the greatest of all time. He had the swagger and the game to back it all up. To say Jordan was cocky is an understatement, he talked trash just to get his opponent out of his game. Overall, I liked the blog and it was creative.

  16. It’s lonely on the top and everyone is a hater. The fact is that Jordan was the ultimate when any discussion involving competition is brought up. The last several years all I’ve heard about the man is how much of a dick he is–whatever. He won. He was the best. What it comes down to is priorities. His was to not only dominate, but win at all costs. I believe anyone that hates on that is just mad because they don’t possess that kind of determination. The kind of determination required to win at all costs and be widely accepted as the greatest. I’m a die hard Laker fan and always have been. I rooted against Jordan during his whole career. I believe that Magic was as talented or maybe even more than Jordan. But Magic never gets talked about like Jordan. Why? Because he wasn’t all those things all you haters hate on Jordan about…..

  17. @David Mason
    And even Magic (maybe the nicest guy in the world) agrees about Jordan’s competitivenes…

    There was an interview where he talked about how he tried to talk trash to MJ at a Dream Team practice and his team got creamed for it, and Magic tells that story with his usual big smile…

    There is no resentment from the game’s greatests because they understand that this is what made him the best.

    Also, about that Bogues story, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the “midget” part that threw off his game… I can only imagine the look in Jordan’s eyes must have been that fearsome. That’s also how you can tell Jordan was the best… Just look at his eyes, then look at any other person’s eyes. Can you see the fire?

  18. @MTL_Dave: It’s not like he went in the gym and levelled him…. it was a hard practice, they kept hard fouling each other and MJ snaped… And then appologized.

    Hear what BJ was saying – he was always the one appologizing at the end.

  19. all mugsy had to do was hit the shot, and he’s all good. I’d wager it wasn’t the insult of “midget” that fucked him up so much as the insult being left open intentionally….and validating that disrespect by missing.

  20. I agree ^. Isn’t there footage of this somewhere, if it happened?

    Either way, someone needs to assemble every MJ story on record, plus more, into a coffee table book of some sort. That would be awesome.

  21. Wow, I’ve heard of “rounding up”, but “almost 20 years” is beyond silly. That must be the new math all the kids are raving about.

  22. If true, nothing wrong with this. Trash talking is part of sports. Only the weak will disagree.

  23. the first one can’t be true because there was no game 5 vs the hornets in 1995… the first round of the playoffs was a best out of 5 game series at that point in time. the bulls won 3 to 1…. really?

  24. You ass hole fuck you bitch

  25. Less than Jake… love it.

  26. Who plays 48 holes of golf? Nothing in this story rings true.

  27. Jordan is an avid golfer.. so him playing 48 holes of golf isn’t unheard of. For the Mugsy and Barkley story, these guys were both in Space Jam with Jordan. If Jordan didn’t like these guys, why we he put them in his movie? Also, who doesn’t trash talk in sports, etc.

  28. Dudes acting like this is worse than Kobe telling his teammate he couldn’t speak to him till he got his credentials up

    Jordan wasn’t perfect, but nobody can match the dickhead that sits on Kobe’s shoulders

  29. I think many of you are passing over the fact that just because you talk trash to someone on the court doesn’t mean that you dislike them or are being a dick. Have none of you played ball with your friends and talked trash to them? I know I have and that I’ve been trashed by my friends. It’s all a part of the game and being competitive, and in some instances even fun/funny. Nothing in these stories imply that Jordan was a bad person. To people that have a problem with these stories, you are too sensitive or are just not fully thinking about the nature of sports. Mj always had respect for his teammates and competition

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  32. Well the first story can’t be all true because Bogues’ Hornets were NEVER tied 2-2 with the Bulls in any playoff series.

  33. Why do people love when MJ humiliated guys by dunking on them in front of millions?
    But not humiliating in words that are not heard by other ?

    When MJ dunked on a short guy one time another guy said pick on somebody on your size. So MJ dunked on a 7 foot guy few seconds or minutes later.

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