‘Our Security Blanket’: Former Wizards Teammate Debunks a Popular Myth About Michael Jordan

Published 01/16/2021, 8:30 AM EST
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)


There were a number of things that the documentary ‘The Last Dance’ taught us about Michael Jordan. We learned more about his fierce competitive side, the pressure that he faced from a young age, and what it takes to win. But the GOAT also attracted some bad rep over he treated his teammates.

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With the Chicago Bulls, he was notoriously hard on the younger players. As accounted by Steve Kerr himself, Jordan punched the current Warriors‘ coach in practice. Scott Burrell was another supposed target of his bullying and his drive to get the best out of him.

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He retired in 1998 but came back once again for another spell in the NBA with the Washington Wizards. There he was, the senior veteran, no longer at the peak of his godly powers. And according to a former teammate, he was uncharacteristically gentle.

Michael Jordan was a ‘security blanket’ at Wizards

Richard Hamilton won the NBA Championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. But before that, he had a spell with the Wizards, the team that drafted him. He was an up-and-coming player who had the experience of going toe-to-toe with MJ himself in practice.

Wizards star Michael Jordan watches Denver’s Kenny Satterfield (Photo By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

But his situation was unlike what the Last Dance portrayed – “My experience with MJ was totally different, man. MJ was great for me like MJ, he never really chewed me out. Like where you would say like ‘Did he try to chump me out’? Na! Not at all.”

On the contrary, he played a more mentorship role. Since he was also fulfilling the dual role of a president-player, he had to work on uplifting the youngsters.

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“MJ was more of a teacher to us, right? Like, if you remember, he wasn’t just a teammate, but he was also the president of the team. We were the young kids on the block and we were supposed to be the future of the organization,” said Hamilton on the ‘Ringer NBA Show’.

DATE: 10/20/01 MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE WIZARDS HOST NEW JERSEY NETS (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“He was a guy that really looked out for the young guys and made sure that they put us in the right position… M was like our security blanket.”

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Well, there you have it. The self-proclaimed “Black Jesus” is not the monster that his own docuseries made him out to be. He was equally encouraging as he was competitive because after all, he always tried to do what it took to succeed.

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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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