Michael Jordan implemented a tyrannical rule on his teammates to win six NBA Championships. We’ve seen in “The Last Dance” how Jordan forced his teammates to bring their A-game every night. 3-point shooting legend Craig Hodges dropped the specifics on what he and his teammates sacrificed when they played with the GOAT.
Playing with Michael Jordan
Hodges donned the Chicago Bulls jersey in the last four years of his NBA career. He shared his thoughts on the Bulls’ chemistry and success pre-Jordan and when the North Carolina standout arrived. In addition, he also looked at the arc of his career as a role player.
“Well, once again, I feel like we’ve sacrificed. All the people who played with MJ have sacrificed shots. If you look at the year that he wasn’t there, everybody played and they got to a certain level. They didn’t get over the hump, but they were able to play together and with chemistry that was a lot mellower. When I was young in the league, you would look over your shoulder because you would think the superstar wasn’t pleased with your performance and stuff. And then, as you get older in the league, you look at it and you realize that you have your own personal sovereignty within this thing and you just come and play,” Hodges said, per Hoops Hype.
As mentioned, Hodges was already at the tail end of his career when he became teammates with Jordan. He entered the league in 1982, two years ahead of Mike. So Hodges was weirded out that someone younger than him was the team’s head honcho. It probably became more surreal that Jordan wasn’t just the team’s leader. He was a dictator who pulled every string to get what he wanted.
Hodges acknowledged that Jordan was a generational athlete whose mind and body aren’t built like your average baller. But he observed how Jordan seemingly hit on the mediocre performers just for the sake of it. These were the lines that Jordan crossed to get his way.
“When I look at it, a lot of times we can highlight superstars because they have a certain drive that none of us – no other humans – have. But come on, man; it gets to be overbearing and just to a point where you just harp on people because that’s the weak link that you find that you can harp on,” Hodges added.
Hodges’ comments are interesting given the success he had with the Bulls. Apart from winning two rings, he also won three consecutive Three-Point Contests. He joins Larry Bird as the only three-time winner in the competition’s history. Perhaps Hodges is suggesting that, yes, there’s no other satisfaction than winning a title. But one can lead a team to the promised land without being a douche.