According to a former Chicago forward, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would sometimes make the Bulls practice harder than the actual games.
Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player ever. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard had a crazy obsession with winning and being the best he could be at any given time. And with his famous win-it-all mentality, Jordan really put on a show for the 15 seasons he played in the league.
During those 1,072 career games, Mike built up one of the most flawless resumes in NBA history. Over a 15-year career, Michael had 14 All-Star appearances, 11 All-NBA selections, a whooping 10 Scoring titles, 9 All-Defensive selections, 3 Steal titles, 1985 ROTY, a DPOY, 5 MVPs, 6 titles, and 6 Finals MVPs.
His Airness, alongside Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, helped the Chicago Bulls build one of the best dynasties in league history. Back in the 1990s, Chicago was the most dominant team behind the leadership of MJ. The team went on to clinch two three-peats in an eight-year span, even finished the 1995-96 season with an incredible 72-10 winning record, and blew out almost every team during that era.
Former Chicago Bulls forward revealed how practices with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would often be a “bloodbath”
Michael Jordan was known for taking his practices seriously. According to Mike, practices were the only way to get better at the craft. There have been several instances throughout his career when he would use any means of force to get his teammates to be as dedicated as him.
Air Jordan would make the Bulls practice pretty tough for the ones who didn’t train as hard as he required them to. And according to a former Bulls forward, Matt Steigenga, few practices with Pippen and MJ would be tougher than the actual games.
“Here are two of the greatest players of all time, and in my opinion, Michael is the greatest of all time,” Steigenga said. “So when they got it going, it was absolutely amazing. Practices sometimes were harder than the games. You really see the physicality come out in practice because you can get away with it. So there were a lot of bloodbaths in practice from everybody, especially Michael. To see a guy like that at that level going so hard, it was an amazing experience. And Scottie’s not as demonstrative as Michael, but such a talent, and he practiced every bit as hard as Michael did.”
Yes, bloodbaths. Often a times Mike would even land a punch or two at his teammates during practice. And while it may have seemed that the “Black Jesus” was crossing a few lines with his brutal measures, his unconventional tactics did translate into success.