Former Chicago Bulls Trainer Explains Why Michael Jordan Called Him the ‘Biggest A**hole’

Published 05/23/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Michael Jordan (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)


Over the years, there has been a constant comparison between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Fans and other players alike have found many similarities between the two – from being fierce competitors to champions on the court – Kobe and Jordan were made from the same cloth.

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However, there is something else that connects them and makes them one of the greats. It is the man who trained both these legends, Tim Grover.

Back when Jordan was with the Chicago Bulls, Grover helped mold MJ into the GOAT he is. He followed Jordan even when the latter moved to the Washington Wizards , but he also started training with Bryant thanks to MJ’s recommendation. When Kobe Bryant inquired about the legendary trainer, Jordan had nothing but brilliant things to say about him but in his own unique way.

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Grover analyses what Michael Jordan said

In a recent interview, Grover was reminded of Jordan’s twisted compliments about him. While Jordan praised his former trainer and stated that he really knows what he is doing, he even labeled Tim as an a**hole. So, Grover was asked what he makes of this.

Grover considered this as the biggest compliment he could receive from MJ. He explained his interpretation of that comment and said,” It means you’re really confident in your abilities. You know what you’re doing and you’re not always going to be a yes person. When you have these superstar athletes, everyone around them becomes a yes person. And when you’re the a**hole, you have to disagree. You have to say no.

“This isn’t right. This is how it needs to be, this is why we are doing this and have a nice friendly confrontation and not give in to what you know is right. And being able to prove it that way. So, when he said he’s the biggest a**hole, meaning he is not a pushover. He’s not going to tell you what you want to hear, he is going to tell you what you need to hear.”

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Stepping stone for Jordan to get past the Pistons

At the beginning of his career, Jordan struggled to get past the tough Detroit Pistons. The Chicago Bulls had to face three straight losses to them in the playoffs but all that changed in 1990. Grover trained Jordan to gain more muscle, which eventually helped him take more shots against Detroit.

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Without a doubt, it did wonders for MJ and the Bulls ended up defeating the Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. Thanks to Tim, Jordan never slacked off when it came to his fitness. It is what eventually helped him bag those six consecutive championships.

No wonder Bryant and Jordan were so alike. They both had one of the best trainers one could get in the league, even if that means Grover gets called out names for it.

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Yashima Bhatia

1569 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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