Phil Jackson reveals Michael Jordan’s locker room speeches made Bulls teammates ‘step up’ to win NBA championships

In an era when the NBA is often criticized for its lack of defensive and offensive intensity, a recent visit by Phil Jackson to the Chicago Bulls locker room served as a reminder to all the players of the competitive spirit that once dominated the league and led the team to a three peat.

The legendary coach, who once guided the Bulls to six NBA championships, shared insights into the leadership attributes of their flying legend, Michael Jordan, revealing how his locker room speeches motivated his teammates to achieve greatness.

Phil Jackson reveals how Michael Jordan motivated his teammates

Phil Jackson made a visit to the Bulls’ locker room and told a story of Michael Jordan’s leadership style that painted a picture of a relentless competitor, one who was never shy to challenge his teammates so as to elevate their game.

Jackson recalled: “There was many times when I stood outside in the hallway and I could hear Michael carrying on in the locker room ‘well who’s going to step up and stand beside me?”

However, Jordan’s leadership was not without controversy. His competitiveness sometimes rendered him a demanding and uncompromising attitude towards his teammates. But despite this, Jackson continued to emphasize that Jordan’s approach was ultimately rooted in a desire to only bring out the best in those around him.

Jackson also shed light on some of the other physical attributes that contributed to His Airness’ success on the court, particularly his large hands. Measuring at 9.75 inches in length with an 11.38-inch span, Jordan’s hands allowed him to have exceptional control over the basketball. This physical advantage, coupled with his exceptional skill, enabled him to execute plays that left opponents and fans in awe.

Michael Jordan’s best teammate in Bulls

As the spotlight is often focused on Jordan’s individual brilliance, it’s crucial to remember the major role that his teammates also played in the success of the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty. Among those teammates, one stands out as the most significant contributor to Jordan’s success and the Bulls’ six NBA championships.

Scottie Pippen, also known to be His Airness’ right-hand man, emerges as the undeniable answer to the question of who was MJ’s best teammate. Their partnership on the court is nothing short of legendary, a synergetic relationship that excelled the Bulls to unparalleled heights.

Pippen’s stats, while impressive on their own, only tell part of the story, as he averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists throughout his career, while Pippen’s contributions extended far beyond the score box.

The combination of the two legends, Jordan and Pippen, was certainly very unique; they complemented each other quite perfectly. While Jordan was the offensive powerhouse, known for his scoring and clutch performances, Pippen excelled on the defensive end. His impressive adaptability to guard multiple positions was invaluable, often pushing him to defend the opposing team’s best player. This balance allowed MJ to focus more on scoring and leading the team offensively.

Pippen’s actual value to the Bulls’ team and Jordan was further highlighted during the 1993–94 season, when Jordan temporarily left basketball to pursue a career in baseball. Despite His Airness’ absence, the Bulls still managed a 55-27 record, which stands as a testament to Pippen’s all-around capability in leading a team.

Besides Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, can you name other dynamic duos that have transcended in the game of basketball? Let us know if you’ve got any in mind in the comments down below!


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