‘Turned Into a Different Animal’: Former Rival Validates Last Dance’s Claims on Michael Jordan

Published 02/04/2021, 7:00 AM EST
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)


Michael Jordan, in his 16-year-old career, was a walking highlight reel. If someone picks any game of Jordan, they are bound to see some astounding plays by the GOAT.

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In his illustrious career, MJ has posterized multiple players with his vicious dunks. But only a few top the moment when Jordan dunked on former Nets’ guard Kendall Gill in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

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The Nets had a real chance to steal a game from MJ & Co, who were sloppy throughout. But ultimately, Jordan came through and had this clutch play to extend Bulls’ lead in OT.

The veteran guard recently made an appearance in the Porter Way Podcast. When asked how who would he prefer to fight in the boxing ring, Gill only had one name: Michael Jordan.

He said, “I probably get in the ring with MJ because he dunked on me one day in the playoffs and I don’t know if you guys saw the last dance, but he dunked on me in the playoffs.”

Former Nets’ guard opens up about how competitive Michael Jordan was

Despite being rivals on the court, MJ and Gill shared a good relationship with the Bulls’ legend. Gill, in the podcast, revealed a story about how competitive Jordan really was.

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He said, “All that stuff about MJ is true, man, about how his competitive spirit, he’s a friend of mine. I remember one day, we were playing cards at my house, and I was beating him out of his money, we playing tough.

Michael Johnson #23, shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls prepares to make a shot during a Central Division game in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 1988 – 1989 season at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

“And it was about 11 o’clock at night. This dude would not leave my house until he won his money back. He ended up he ended up leaving my house at 7:30 in the morning.”

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He added, “MJ is a nice guy. Good guy, you love him, you know, but he just turned into a different animal when he’s competing at something. And I think to answer your question, that’s the only time that he gets really intense is when he’s competing at something.”

Jordan was driven by his competitive spirit, and if not for his hunger to win, we might not have seen the enormous success MJ had in his career.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1184 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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