Michael Jordan was known for his fiery temper, but he made the decision to skip practice in favor of attending a funeral. Why did MJ make this tough call? Here’s what we know!
A story of Michael Jordan threatening to kick his teammate’s a** after he skipped practice.Bulls legend Michael Jordan, who recently made a controversial return as the team’s president of basketball operations after spending three years away from the franchise, was not amused when members of his staff failed to show up for practice.
Michael Jordan threatened to kick Scottie Pippen’s ass after he skipped practice for his dead cat. “Such nonsense irritated Jordan.”
Nobody had any questions about Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s connection during the height of their partnership.
But now, more than two decades later, Pippen has painted a different image, revealing some of the concerns he had (and continues to have) with Jordan, as well as the way he handled his teammates.
Of course, Jordan’s otherworldly celebrity wasn’t the only source of conflict. Pippen’s connection with Horace Grant became a concern in the locker room, according to Roland Lazenby’s MJ biography…
(through Roland Lazenby’s Michael Jordan: The Life)
His quick connection with Horace Grant, the Bulls’ other first-round choice, helped him acclimate that first year.
“The following day after the selection, they came to Chicago and attended to a White Sox game,” Cheryl Raye-Stout recounted. “They were wearing their Bulls caps in the dugout.” They struck up a quick friendship. … And that showed on the court because they were quite happy with each other. They both have a long way to go in terms of maturation. Coming from an NAIA school, Scottie had the most difficult time. It was a rude awakening for him, since he had never been exposed to the media before.
The two rookies’ interaction developed into a type of obsession. Grant, who already had a twin brother, Harvey, who was also an NBA player, remarked, “Scottie is like my twin brother.” Pippen took on the role of his surrogate twin. They went shopping together, double-dated, drove the same vehicle, and lived in the same neighborhood in suburban Northbrook. They even married a week apart and served as best men for each other. It was the type of friendship that gave the Bulls’ already uncomfortable chemistry a weird twist.
He went on to relate an instance in which Pippen missed a Bulls practice to mourn his deceased cat, which was followed by Grant joining Scottie to “grieve” with him.
“Scottie phoned in one day and said he couldn’t make practice because his cat died,” said former coach Mark Pfeil. “About fifteen minutes later, Horace phoned and said he was with Scottie because he was mourning. Our assistant coach, Johnny Bach, was completely enraged. ‘You get here,’ he said Horace over the phone. ‘I think you should toss the cat in the trash bin.’ When the squad gathered, Horace requested a minute of quiet for Scottie’s cat.
Naturally, Michael Jordan (being the competitor that he is) wasn’t a fan of the antics, and he ultimately expressed his displeasure to Pippen (in a funny manner).
Jordan was angered by such foolishness. In Chicago, practice eventually became more interesting than games, with Jordan hunkering down and roaring at Pippen, “I’m going to kick your ass!” according to Krause.
The entire affair is strange, particularly considering the historical period in which it occurred. It’s crazy to imagine that when Jordan and Pippen were destroying the competition on the court, things like this were going on behind the scenes.
Over an eight-year period, the tandem won six championships together, an incredible feat.
Still, one has to question what their true feelings for each other were at the time.
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