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.
Sounds about right to me.
I’ve always been a believer that Michael Jordan was/remains one of the biggest assholes on the planet. Not to say I didn’t love him growing up or don’t continue to respect him as the greatest basketball player to every grace this planet, but facts are facts. Tales of Jordan being a gargantuan asshole to anyone in his path to glory are well documented. Just ask Google. This isn’t particularly unique to Jordan as there are many of other dominant athletes who could be considered assholes. One might even conclude that greatness and being an asshole are somewhat related:
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.
Who’s seriously that sinister? I understand playing chess while others are playing checkers, but if your chess involves corrupting the sacred bonds of friendship then Mr. Jordan I just can’t get down like that. All Chuck wanted to do was play some golf and ice out his ear like the 90′s bawss he was, and here was Michael turning the whole thing into some twisted multi-layered competition.