MANILA, Philippines – There’s no questioning Michael Jordan was a ruthless competitor during his decorated NBA career, even to his teammates.
There are stories of Jordan getting in his Chicago Bulls teammates’ faces – like he even punched former guard Steve Kerr (but that’s for another story) – and always wanting nothing but perfection from them.
Practices were not even exceptions.
One time, former Bulls center Bill Wennington managed to block Jordan during a drill and the man considered the greatest of all time did not let it go.
“Michael was very, very competitive, and that day, it was me who was able to block a shot of his early on in practice,” Wennington said through the official NBA Twitter account as he answered fan questions.
“He took offense to that and challenged me the rest of practice to block his shot, both verbally and physically.”
Wennington is a giant standing at 7 feet, but that did not prevent the 6-foot-6 Jordan from coming at this teammate.
“I remember, I was isolated on the far side of the floor. The basket was behind me, I was over in the right corner guarding Luc Longley,” Wennington narrated.
“Michael was running a screen roll up on the left side and he dribbled through the whole team all away across the floor, jumped into me, shot the ball over me, and said, ‘Block that!’ with a few other words.”
“That was what Michael was doing – [he] was challenging us every day to step up to the challenge and play hard, to be both mentally and physically ready for whoever we’re going to play.”
Although Jordan and his ways may be considered extreme at times, Wennington said he emerged an improved player from those encounters.
“Back then, those days were physical against the likes of New York and Miami in the Eastern Conference – very physical games against Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning,” Wennington said.
“He wanted to make sure that I was prepared as was everyone else on the floor. It was good because that made me better.”
Wennington proved to be a serviceable big man for the Bulls as he helped the team win 3 NBA championships from 1996 to 1998. – Rappler.com