All of us have heard the infamous ‘Practice!’ rant by Allen Iverson. Few of us, however, have heard how much Michael Jordan loved practice on mic.
In a 1997 courtside interview, Jordan revealed his true love for the game by exclaiming that he genuinely ‘needed’ to practice:
“I love practice. I need to practice. How can I skip practice? I need it.”
Michael Jordan on Practice 🎯
“I love practice. I need to practice.
How can I skip practice? I need it.” pic.twitter.com/DL3Sb9LBp7
— Jaycob Ammerman (@Jammer2233) December 23, 2020
The Bulls legend had a Love of the Game clause written into his Bulls contract as a rookie. This clause allowed him to suit up and play wherever, whenever he liked with no restrictions. Michael’s dominance and excellence was born out of a deep love for the game in every fashion.
Contrasting Michael Jordan interview with Allen Iverson ‘Practice!’ rant
Iverson developed a reputation as a slacker in practice in his initial years in the league. Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown managed to somewhat rein in his maverick guard in his first season. However, Iverson once again went back to his indisciplined ways in the 2001-02 season.
This was the season next to when he made the Finals with the Sixers. His team were knocked out in the first round by Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics in Pierce’s first good postseason run.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 8, 2018
In fairness to AI, he was going thru some really tough personal times at the time of this interview. One of his best friends since childhood had passed away a few days before this, and Iverson was in stitches. He was in a really bad place mentally and did need some time off from real life.
Both AI and MJ are considered as 2 of the most competitive players of all time. But one of them loved the process of getting better with each rep a lot more.