With six rings and a reputation for being one of the most ruthless competitors in sports history, Michael Jordan is, arguably, the greatest NBA player ever.
And while there are legendary stories about MJ’s unmatched drive and shit-talking prowess, former MLB player/manager Ozzie Guillen told another one today that is absolutely aces, talking about the time when, in 1993 after retiring from the NBA, Jordan beat both Guillen and fellow MLB player Joey Cora in a game of One-on-One, per ESPN:
“After the 100 bucks, we score two more and he’s down by seven-one. We missed and he grabbed the ball, and we never touched the ball again. We hand the ball back — check — and he just went crazy. He wasn’t checking nothing. He ain’t checking s***. He would just dunk. One after another. We went to stop him and he would run through us. He would grab the ball, dribble, and go through like nothing was around him. He would push me around. He would dunk. He would push Joey around. It’s funny because I don’t see his back, I see his crotch. Every time he would go around us, I would just see his lower body. I wouldn’t see his hands. His lower body was over my face seven times. We tried to push him back and play dirty against him. He don’t care. We can put three Joeys and seven Ozzies and he going to keep going.”
That’s when shit got real for MJ, as he knew exactly what would happen had he lost to two baseball players—even if it was one versus two—making sure he didn’t give the ballplayers and reason to gloat about beating the best baller on the planet.
“When he was hitting us, we were like, ‘This is not an NBA game. This is a pickup game in the clubhouse. I’m not Karl Malone or Larry Bird. I’m Ozzie. I don’t have nothing to do with basketball.’ I was like, ‘Why are you being so aggressive? For 100 bucks?’ He said, ‘Nope, it’s not the 100 bucks. It’s cause you’ll be telling everybody that you just beat Michael Jordan.’ He realized that. The first thing that would have come out of my mouth would be, ‘I beat Michael Jordan playing basketball once,’ and he ain’t gonna let it happen. All of a sudden, we lost the game 10-7. That’s it. Game’s over!”
Jordan may have walked away with the $100, but, in his own words, winning had nothing to do with the cash and everything to do with pride. This right here, is what separates those of us trying to be like Mike and Mike himself.