Michael Jordan humbled rookie Corey Benjamin, comprehensively beating him all ends up in a one-on-one game after Bulls practice.
Keeping MJ away from the hardwood would be a monumental task for anyone. He’d announced his retirement for a second time from the game that had given him everything. But the competitive streak within him was well and truly alive.
Michael Jordan barely needed any sort of motivation to get back onto the court. One would suspect that he considered himself the best player in the world even after retirement. And why wouldn’t he? MJ had finished his age-35 season with an MVP, a Finals MVP and a scoring title.
Jordan had established such a stupidly impressive resume at Chicago that virtually no one can catch him. He could always have rested secure in the knowledge that he’ll always be the heart and soul of Chi-Town.
How Michael Jordan humbled Corey Benjamin
Being the darling of Chi-Town wasn’t enough for MJ. He’d heard a few murmurs about a rookie talking trash and saying he could beat the Jumpman. That was all the motivation Jordan needed to return to the court and challenge the aforementioned rookie – one Corey Benjamin. In Corey’s own words,
“One day, Mike told Ron [Harper] that he was going to come to our game [in Atlanta] and he told me, ‘I’m about to come see you. We’re at the game, and they showed Mike walking into the game [on TV], and I knew right where he was headed.”
“I’m in the training room with Ron and Randy [Brown], and MJ walks in there. He comes right over to me and says, ‘What did you say?!’”
“Remember, this is my childhood hero. I man up, and I say, ‘I think I can get that.’ He told me, ‘I’ll be at your practice in a few days, and we’ll see if you can get that.”
“Look around you. What do you see all around you? You didn’t have anything to do with those!” After the game, he also told his opponent to “sit down” and jokingly added, “Don’t call me out of retirement again.”