Michael Jordan blasts current state of NBA in rare interview

Michael Jordan blasts current state of NBA in rare interview

By K.C. Johnson | Chicago Tribune

Michael Jordan doesn’t grant many interviews.

When he does, the Bulls’ Hall of Famer and Hornets Chairman rarely disappoints.

Speaking with Cigar Aficionado magazine, Jordan weighed in on a wide variety of topics, including whether he’s the greatest player of all time and the state of today’s NBA.

“I never played against Wilt Chamberlain,” Jordan told the magazine. “I never played against Jerry West. To now say that one’s greater than the other is being a little bit unfair. I won six championships. Bill Russell won 11. Does that make Russell better than me or make me better than him? No, because we played in different eras.”

Jordan’s Bulls once had to go through the Bad Boy-era Detroit Pistons, who had to go through the Larry Bird-led Celtics. Not surprisingly, Jordan doesn’t sound like a fan of super teams.

“I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they’re going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment.”

Jordan said he smokes six cigars a day, hangs out with former Yankees great Derek Jeter, whom he calls “my little brother,” often and defends his stint playing minor league baseball in the White Sox farm system.

“Everybody says it was a failed opportunity to play baseball,” Jordan said. “For me, it was the best thing to happen because it allowed me to go back to the game (of basketball) with a stronger passion.

“When we won those championships (in 1996, 1997 and 1998), those things mattered to me far more than what I did in ’91, ’92 and ’93. People don’t see that. All they think about is he batted .200 and he struck out a certain number of times. Yeah, OK.”

Jordan said bringing a championship to Charlotte is on his bucket list and said he wouldn’t have the patience for coaching because his “biggest problem from a competitive standpoint is the focus of today’s athlete.”

He also addressed his late father, James.

“What would my father do right now? First of all, he’d probably be sitting here smoking a cigar.

“The thing I remember the most about my father — and I had him for 32 years — I never look at it from a negative sense. Obviously, he was murdered and rarely do I get the chance to talk about him. I think about him practically every day.”

NBA

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Server Dragos Pintlie drops off a bay shrimp louie salad for Howard Golden at John’s Grill as indoor dining resumes on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) slides into home for the score on a triple by San Francisco Giants left fielder Austin Slater (13) in the 6th inning at Oracle Park on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants bats rally for Gausman

Through the first 10 games of the 2021 season, the story for… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

Most Read