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“You're a loser! You've always been a loser!” - how Michael Jordan trash-talked his teammate into retirement

A former member of the Bulls revealed that Michael Jordan trash-talked Rodney McCray so badly that he quit the game of basketball for good
Michael Jordan in 2022 at the NBA 75th Anniversary Team induction ceremony

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan was a well-known trash-talker, not just against his opponents but his teammates as well. MJ was never afraid to express how he felt about someone, and he did it in the harshest way possible. There was that time when he even went as far as trading a player for trash-talking him in practice or saying he really didn't care if he broke his teammates. When Jordan said he doesn't care, he really meant it - even if his teammate once retired because of his cruel trash talk.

How Mike ruined Rodney McCray's career

Rodney McCray was a 9-year veteran before joining the Chicago Bulls in 1992. He was a decent forward who could be relied upon to at least put up 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. So when he got to Chicago to ring chase alongside Jordan and Scottie Pippen, he accepted the role of coming from the bench but little did he know this would ruin his career for good.

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According to a story published in Sports Illustrated, Jordan wasn't very fond of McCray. A former member of the Bulls (who remained nameless) once told Sports Illustrated that Jordan even went as far as making him quit basketball.

"... A former teammate of Michael Jordan had this to say: 'He's the most viciously competitive player I've ever seen. That's what makes him, I think, the greatest player ever. He has practically ruined [reserve forward] Rodney McCray for us.' When the two players are on opposite teams in scrimmages, the source says, "[Jordan] is in Rodney's face, screaming, 'You're a loser! You've always been a loser!' Rodney can hardly put up a jumper now." "McCray ended up winning a title that year, but only averaged 15.9 minutes per game. It was also the last season he ever played."

McCray was no match for Jordan's intensity

Despite the forward accepting the sacrifice to come off the bench, he still wasn't liked by Jordan because he didn't match his intensity, especially during practice. As Jordan repeatedly reiterated in his documentary "The Last Dance," talking trash to his teammates was one way he prepared them physically and emotionally for their opponents. It was also a way for him to assess who was mentally tough enough to handle his leadership.

Unfortunately for McCray, he was just too overwhelmed by Jordan's competitiveness and trash-talk, which caused him to say goodbye to the game for good. 

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