Jared Jeffries, former NBA player who spent ten years in the league mostly in the role of a bench player, appeared in the recent interview on the show Fair Game. He talked about several things from his college and professional career but also shared what it was like in his rookie year when he played for the Washington Wizards. That season marked the last year in which Michael Jordan played professional basketball, and Jeffries was able to share the locker with him and see everything he did to stay at the top of his game even at such a later stage of his career.
Jeffries said Jordan was the first one to the gym, especially before games. He was aware that because of his age, he needed extra preparation before games so he can be as productive as possible. Jordan scored 40 points twice that season, and this is something that Jeffries will never forget because it was a testament to Jordan’s dedication and passion for the game.
“It was amazing. He was always the first guy in the gym. He did such an amazing job of kinda directing and leading all of us that year with his dedication as a 40-year-old player. He would get his knees worked on before the games, and you could tell that he was on his last leg, but he still had two 40-point games that year. He is the only guy in the NBA to this day that scored 40 at 40 years old. “
That Wizards had an interesting mix of players that season and most of them were experienced veterans like Jordan, Byron Russell, Christian Laettner, and Charles Oakley. Jeffries also said he was intimidated with Oakley, who, despite being 40-years-old, was still the toughest guy in the team. Jeffries immediately knew he doesn’t want to mess with Big Oak, so he managed to get on his right side by regularly working out with him.