Skip to main content

Michael Jordan on why he didn't want to learn from the vets during his early days with the Bulls

Michael-Jordan-Scottie-Pippen

After getting drafted by the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan immediately made an impact on the franchise, creating a new culture in Chicago. And he made sure it had nothing to do with the old one.

Most people expected MJ to have a smooth transition into the NBA, but a few of them anticipated that he would become a top 10 player in the league as early as his rookie season. Michael immediately imposed a different mentality and established leadership within the Bulls locker room, trying to step away from the losing culture that had been developing for years. So despite being around veterans, Jordan didn't look to them for advice.

Do you really want to know what I learned? Not to be like them. I learned how to be a leader in all respects — just trying to lead the team out of losing all of the time. The attitude was pretty acceptable here, of losing, so I was trying to break the mold.

Michael Jordan

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Jordan was known for being a fierce teammate who expected 100 percent from his teammates. Tony Kukoc often said that the Bulls' practices were much more challenging than the actual games because Jordan was all over everybody if they didn't play hard. And Michael took pride in that, especially since it took years for him to reach that level. That's why those early years were crucial.

People say I was a demanding teammate, but really that was leadership. I was the only guy left from 1984. I was there when there were 6,000 people in the stands. So I took pride in making sure every guy understood what it took to get us to this point, and by no means am I going to allow you to come in and change what we'd begun- the transformation of a city that's never had a championship. I used my aggressive language, my aggressive behavior, to make you conform. Some people looked at this in a whole different frame of mind.

Michael Jordan

Jordan often got criticized by the media for the way he put pressure on his teammates. Obviously, that raised a lot of attention, and at first, Jordan was offended by those comments. Years later, he stopped caring. All he cared about was winning, and he knew once that trophy is in their hands, his teammates will understand his approach.


At first, I was offended. Then I realized people don't understand our journey. I bet if you ask anyone now on those teams, they have a greater appreciation for what we achieved as opposed to the method we went by to achieve what we achieved.

Michael Jordan

All the Bulls from the '90s will tell you the same thing -- end justified the means. That's the only validation No. 23 needed.

Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin shares important financial advice to young NBA stars: 'Wait till that second contract'

Blake Griffin has a helpful financial advice to the younger generation of NBA stars based on his own experience managing money

How a simple Kobe Bryant gesture changed Spencer Dinwiddie’s life

How a simple Kobe Bryant gesture changed Spencer Dinwiddie’s life

Bryant told Dinwiddie that he's playing like an All-Star in his eyes. Those are the only words Dinwiddie needed to continue working hard.

Allen Iverson’s one trait that caused clashes with teammates

Allen Iverson’s one trait that almost caused clashes with his teammates

Dahntay Jones and Gilbert Arenas agree that Allen Iverson's not being locked in practices could have led to clashes with his teammates.

Reggie Miller names the only player he hated guarding: Drove me absolutely mad with his antics

Reggie Miller on why he hated guarding Drazen Petrovic: "Drove me absolutely mad with his antics"

Reggie Miller shared how good Drazen Petrovic was and his trash-talking skills that Miller couldn't do anything about.

Ja Morant's Brand Could Grow Like LeBron James In Cleveland, Marketing Experts Say

Ja Morant's brand could grow like the one from LeBron James in Cleveland, marketing experts say

Amid Ja Morant's best season, marketing experts foresee his brand reaching the heights the same way LeBron James did back in Cleveland

Kevin Durant responds to the notion that the Golden State Warriors replaced him with Andrew Wiggins and still made it to the NBA Finals

Kevin Durant responds to the notion that the Golden State Warriors replaced him with Andrew Wiggins and still made it to the NBA Finals

When posed with the question of whether the Warriors replaced him with Wiggins, Durant responded by basically saying Warriors fans need to get over him leaving

Steph Curry and Draymond Green predicted the Warriors will be back in the NBA Finals

Draymond Green and Steph Curry predicted that the Golden State Warriors will again be in the NBA Finals: "Don't want to see us next year"

We look back at the predictions Green and Curry made over a year ago when everyone thought the Warriors are finally done

I do think if I played in 2022 I would do well” - Muggsy Bogues believes he could succeed in the modern NBA

“I do think if I played in 2022 I would do well” - Muggsy Bogues believes he could succeed in the modern NBA

Bogues found a way to make a name for himself in the NBA during the 1990s, but would he have been as successful in the modern era of the NBA?