In anticipation of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” — a 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan that debuts this weekend — the former Bulls superstar joined “Good Morning America” on Thursday to talk about it. Jordan has always had a reputation of being one of the fiercest competitors that the NBA, or any sport, has ever seen. This came across in the interview, when a clip about an injury Jordan suffered in the 1985-86 season was played.
MJ broke his foot that season in just the third game of the campaign and was itching to come back. However, team owner Jerry Reinsdorf wasn’t too keen on the idea and preferred that Jordan play it safe, especially after team doctors said there was a 10 percent chance that if MJ returned too soon, he could put his career in jeopardy.
With those odds in mind, Reinsdorf broke the situation down to Jordan by asking him a question:
“I said to Michael, ‘you’re not thinking about the risk-reward ratio,'” Reinsforf said. “If you had a terrible headache and I gave you a bottle of pills and nine of the pills would cure you and one of the pills would kill you, would you take a pill?”
Jordan had a legendary response: “It depends on how f—ing bad the headache is.”
Reinsdorf ultimately won the battle and Jordan sat out the next 64 regular season games. Jordan did return for the playoffs and scored 63 points in Game 2 of their opening round series against the Boston Celtics, which is a playoff record that still stands today for points in a single postseason game.
Jordan was the ultimate competitor and that was probably one of the biggest reasons that he won six NBA titles during his time in Chicago. But if Jordan had gotten his way during the 1985-86 season, we may not have seen that greatness if he injured a setback.