Michael Jordan was seemingly very respectful towards Coach K during the Dream Team days; much to Coach K’s surprise.
The release of the ‘Last Dance’ docuseries left one thing in fans’ minds following its conclusion: Michael Jordan was a killer. Of course, this is referring to his demeanor on the basketball court and nothing else. Sure, everybody remembers the fadeaways, the baseline drives into the lane, the hang-time, but his mentality towards the game is often pushed aside.
The ‘Dream Team’ was the first of its kind. 1992 was the first year in the history of USA basketball that professionals were allowed to participate in the Olympics. Funnily enough, the first Olympics squad to feature NBA players on it was also, arguably, the greatest team ever assembled. Redeem Team truthers may have something to say about that take however.
So, putting hot-headed, alpha athletes such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, amongst others on the same team might’ve seemed a bit too ambitious. Jordan especially was not to be meddled with as he was fresh off a repeat and everybody in the gym knew he was the point man.
Coach K was shocked at Michael Jordan being as calm as he was with him.
Coach K, legendary Duke bench boss, was chosen to lead Team USA to gold in this unique 1992 Olympics. He did so with ease as USA averaged a 44 point margin of victory en route to gold. Along the way, Krzyzewski was surprised to have bonded with Michael Jordan and even talked about it then.
“It was after our practice because he didn’t make a mistake their first practice. I’m just sitting there and he came over and he says ‘Coach, would you please work with me? I’d like to work on some of my offensive stuff’. I thought he was coming over to give me a hard time because he’s from North Carolina and I’m from Duke. I actually think it was his way of making me feel comfortable.”
“When it was over, he said ‘thanks’. Michael Jordan could have said ‘hey, get over here idiot and work with me’ and I would have done that…He gave me a chance to have an ego and then he called me with respect (coach), he said please and thank you. In other words, there was no organizational chart where he was the top guy and I’m here on the bottom.”