Former Wizards Coach Reveals How Michael Jordan Worked His ‘Bu*t Off’ To Get Him an Extension

Published 01/10/2021, 10:25 AM EST
OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA – JULY 20: Five-time NBA MVP Michael Jordan smiles after hitting to the seventh green during the RBC Canadian Open’s Mike Weir Charity Classic Pro-Am at Glen Abbey Golf Club on July 20, 2009 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)


As much as Michael Jordan is remembered for being the greatest of all time, his journey in the NBA is one that is unique. Not only has the man won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, but he has also hung his jersey thrice in his career. It just proved to everybody that Jordan couldn’t keep his hands off a basketball. And why should he?

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His first retirement came after 1993, right after he ended his three-peat with the Chicago Bulls. This was around the tragic death of his father, and that left Jordan broken. So, he took some time off the NBA and joined minor league baseball, as supposedly, his father always wanted him to be a baseball player.

But as soon as Jordan made his return, it he wasted no time and again won three championships with the Bulls. What looked liked his final retirement in 1998, Jordan decided to stay a part of the NBA by being the president of the Washington Wizards.

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But even then, Jordan could hardly resist the temptation and believed he would be able to help the Wizards way more on the court than off of it. It was at that time when Brian James was the Wizards head coach and Jordan had a lot to do with him getting a contract with Washington.

SLUG: SP/WIZARDS4 DATE:12/03/02 PHOTO BY : JOEL RICHARDSON DIG WASHINGTON WIZARDS BEAT THE MILWAUKEE BUCKS 103-78,,, MICHAEL JORDAN HOLDS BACK CHARLES OAKLEY FROM GETTING INTO AN AGRUEMENT. (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Michael Jordan made promises to lure him in

In an interview with James, he revealed that he got the assistant coach job because of Jordan. However, there was still a negotiation going on about whether it’ll be a three-year or four-year contract. The four year contract was hinged on whether they made it to the playoffs or not.

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So James stated what Jordan said to him. “So Jordan goes, ‘Brian let me ask you some questions. Do you think I am a pretty good player? I said Michael you’re a great player, maybe the best of all time. And he goes, ‘I’ve been working out all day. I am not gonna say I will play. But do you think if I work out every single day, that I could get us into playoffs’?”

When James agreed to that, Jordan said, ‘Let me analyze this. That means you could sit over there in that chair and twiddle your thumbs. And I am going to work my butt off and get us in the playoffs. And I then, will get you another year on the contract. That’s a hell of a deal, you better sign it.’

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Although an injury-riddled Wizards failed to make it to the playoffs, Jordan’s success will always overshadow his failures. Well, what do you expect from the GOAT?

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Yashima Bhatia

1189 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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