‘Caught Red-Handed’ by 21YO Michael Jordan, Veteran Olympics Coach Was ‘Forced’ to Change Tactics After Iconic Feat

Published 09/25/2023, 8:10 AM EDT

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Michael Jordan is arguably the GOAT of basketball. Over the course of his career, he dismantled teams on his path to six championships. Most basketball fans in the country were aware of a young Jordan’s ability from his time with the University of North Carolina. However, the world got its first taste of MJ during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. This was when His Airness announced himself to the world. He even put the legendary head coach in an interesting conundrum with his display.

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After helping Team USA win the Gold in the Olympics, Mike hit the ground running as soon as he entered the NBA. However, not everyone saw his immense potential.

Michael Jordan’s quick wit caught the coach off guard

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Head coach Bobby Knight once revealed an interesting incident between him and Michael Jordan. The video clip has resurfaced now and is doing the rounds online. Knight noted that during the half-time break, he usually asks his teams to play better in the second half. However, he was confused about what to do as Team USA dominated Spain and led by 28 points at the half. He recounted that Jordan had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists in just 11 minutes of play.

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As soon as Knight entered the locker room, MJ was the first one there. So he decided to change his usual method a bit. The coach thought that criticizing MJ despite his perfect performance would inspire his teammates to play better. And, he found an interesting way to call the young star out.

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Knight stated, “And I walk over and I say, ‘Mike! When the hell are you gonna set a screen? I mean we had four guys out there screening. When the hell are you gonna screen somebody, Mike? I mean all you are doing is rebounding, passing, and scoring. Dammit! Screen somebody out here.'”

The crowd went wild as soon as Knight said this. However, he was not finished as the best part was Jordan’s reply.

The Chicago Bulls legend understood what the coach was doing and caught his bluff. So he reminded Knight that Jordan was the quickest athlete he had ever seen. Knight wondered what that has to do with screens. MJ jokingly replied that he was so fast at setting screens that the coach could not even see it.

The Hall of Fame coach could only laugh at the star’s quick-wittedness.

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Michael Jordan was not the 1st pick

Notably, two teams passed up their opportunity to pick Michael Jordan in the 1984 draft before the Bulls picked him at #3.

However, had the draft been held after the 1984 Olympics, there is no doubt Jordan would have been the first pick. That’s how electrifying MJ was throughout the Olympics. Behind his extraordinary performances, Team USA blew away their opponents and clinched the Gold medal.

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His displays excited the Bulls management, and the fans had huge expectations. It is safe to say Jordan exceeded everyone’s expectations.

WATCH THIS STORYHaving Snubbed LeBron James, Luka Doncic Gets Rewarded by Michael Jordan’s $150,000,000 NASCAR Team for His Loyalty

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran

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Bagavathi Eswaran is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports, with a strong passion for the sport that started at the young age of ten. As a former college player, Bagavathi has been following the NBA for more than a decade and has found his calling in writing about the sport. His expertise in covering the NBA, as well as other arenas of the sport, is evident in his writing.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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