It’s been relatively well documented both publicly and in MJ’s private life that he will compete with people at anything. Everything from his gambling addiction to his play on the court (and anything in between) proves as a testament to his incredibly competitive spirit. Below are some of the more incredible examples you will ever hear about…
He punched Bulls teammate Steve Kerr in the face during a scrimmage. Kerr said he talked back to MJ during training camp, and then: He punched me in the face … It was one of the best things that ever happened for me. I needed to stand up and go back at him. I think I earned some respect. But, we have a great relationship ever since … you gotta prove it, and then once you prove it, you’re fine.”
He made a $500 bet that he could hit the green with a fan at a charity golf event in 2011, and won.
At age 50, he made it a goal to lose 45 pounds to get down to his playing weight of 218.
He forced Dream Team coach Chuck Daly to play him in golf by pounding on his hotel room door. Rick Reilly reported that Jordan lost to Daly in golf in Monte Carlo. The next morning, he pounded on Daly’s door at their hotel until Daly finally agreed to go play him again. Jordan won.
He allegedly ruined Rodney McCray’s career by dominating him in $100 post-practice shooting games. ESPN’s Rick Reilly says he witnessed Jordan eviscerate McCray in practice in 1993. A source told him: “MJ is in Rodney’s face, screaming, ‘You’re a loser! You’ve always been a loser!’ Rodney can hardly put up a jumper now.”
He had final say on who made the Dream Team. In his book on the Dream Team last year, Jack McCollum hinted that no one was allowed on the team unless Jordan wanted him on the team.
He led a group of hard-line NBA owners who refused to budge during the lockout in 2011.
He once told Shaq exactly what he was going to do against his teammate, and it worked. Shaquille O’Neal says Jordan told him: “I’m coming down. I’m going to dribble it between my legs twice. I’m going to pump fake, and then I’m going to shoot a jumper. And then I’m going to look at you. And that’s exactly what he did.”
He destroyed O.J. Mayo, then a top high school prospect, in a pickup game at age 43.
He’s obsessed with the iPad game Bejeweled. He passed level 100, so he’s officially a “Bejeweled Demigod.”
He played through the flu and scored 38 points. It was the pivotal game of the 1997 NBA Finals. Jordan had a nasty flu, but he dropped 38 points and the Bulls won. They won the series two days later.
He said he wouldn’t have let his fiancee win an argument with him 10 years ago. MJ told ESPN’s Wright Thompson that his then-fiancee Yvette (now wife) pressured him into driving seven hours so she could see where he grew up. He said that would have never happened 10 years ago: “It’s amazing what women can talk you into doing. Make you change. Ten years ago, we’d have been arguing all f—ing day. I would’ve won. This time, this stage where I am, you win. That’s progress.”
He says LeBron still has flaws. Jordan told ESPN that LeBron has one bad tendency — whenever he goes left he shoots jump shots, and whenever he goes right he drives.
He trashed all his doubters in his Hall of Fame induction speech, saying of former Bulls GM Jerry Krause: “I don’t know who invited him … I didn’t.”
He played a Bobcats player one-on-one in 2013, and had to get treatment from the trainer the next day.
Muggsy Bogues said MJ messed up his shot forever with one sentence of trash talk. “On the biggest possession of the game, Mugsy had the ball with the Hornets down 1. Jordan backed off of him and told him: “shoot it you f—ing midget.” Mugsy shot it, didn’t come close. A year later Mugsy actually told Johnny Bach that he believes that single play ruined his career. His shot never recovered.”
He once trash-talked Bill Clinton on the golf course. They two were playing golf together when MJ forced the former president to play from the farthest-away tees. “You’re going to play from the little girls’ tees?” Jordan asked him.
He convinced himself he could play baseball. That’s like Tiger Woods saying he would like to try his hand at the NBA.