Michael Jordan’s competitiveness is almost as legendary as his stellar basketball abilities, and it was on full display in episodes 5 and 6 of “The Last Dance,” which aired on Sunday night. Jordan addressed his gambling issues, admitting that his competitive nature led to betting vast sums of money of golf, cards and other random activities.
Part of the documentary also looked at the book, “The Jordan Rules,” which contained information that described Jordan as being demeaning and borderline abusive toward teammates. Jordan said he thought former teammate Horace Grant was responsible for providing the writer, Sam Smith, with information, but Grant vehemently denied it.
Among the revelations in the book was the rumor that Jordan once punched teammate Will Perdue during practice. Perdue joined CBS Sports HQ on Sunday night and confirmed the story, but said it wasn’t a big deal because fights were commonplace at Bulls practices (Video above).
“He did, and I wasn’t the only one,” Perdue said. “That’s how competitive our practices were. That wasn’t the only fight, that was one of numerous. But because it involved Michael Jordan, and it leaked out, that it became a big deal. And the funny thing was, in that practice that it happened, we basically separated, regrouped and kept practicing — it wasn’t like that was the end of practice. Stuff like that was common, because that’s how competitive our practices were.
This isn’t much of a surprise, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr has said multiple times that Jordan punched him in the face during a Bulls practice, and Perdue’s comments suggest others suffered a similar fate when going at His Airness. The best part is that the team simply kept practicing afterward as if nothing happened.
Perdue was Jordan’s teammate from 1988-1995, winning three titles in the process, so the in-practice spats are probably water under the bridge at this point. It’s just yet another story that shows Jordan’s legendarily competitive nature and willingness to take it out on others.