Skip to main content

Tyronn Lue on Michael Jordan wanting to play 82 games at 40: "That was a badge of honor"

According to the current Clippers' head coach Tyronn Lee, Jordan took great pride in playing a full 82-game season at 40 years old
Tyronn Lue on 40-year-old Michael Jordan wanting to play all 82 games with the Wizards

Ty Lue and Michael Jordan 

Michael Jordan is one of only three players in NBA history to play a full 82-game schedule at the age of 38+ -- the other two being John Stockton and Johnny Green. According to Tyronn Lue, that's something MJ took great pride in.

"That was a badge of honor"

The current Clippers' head coach was Jordan's teammate during his farewell run with the Washington Wizards. But unlike most of the guys 40-year-old MJ shared a locker room with, Lue loved being around His Airness.

Mike was equally demanding but not as transcendent as a player. He also enforced championship standards on a group that wasn't ready for it, and most of his teammates hated him for it. But Lue didn't.

Ty loved having Jordan as a teammate, despite all the baggage he brought to the team. He loved being around No.23 and seeing how he approaches the game day in and day out despite being 40.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“He wanted to practice every day and play 82 games at 40. Like we came into the league that was a badge of honor to play 82 games and this man doing it at 40 years old with one leg. Come on man! Talk about dedication to the game? It don’t get better than that.”

Tyronn Lue, Knuckleheads Podcast

“Being 40 years old, playing back-to-backs, he played 82 games," Lue said. "But the crazy part about it? He would never stay out of practice like Doug Collins would like, ‘Mike, go! Man, no!’ Like he wanted to play in practice every single day. Me like, ‘He 40 years old!’ Still everyday first one there.”

One of the last of its kind

Jordan playing all 82 games wasn't just exclusive for his final year in the league -- he played in all 82 games nine times and had two other seasons with at least 80 games played. 

In fact, Michael is one of only nine guys who have played at least nine full 82-game seasons throughout their careers -- Derek Fisher, who retired in 2014, is the latest to join this list. 

Guys used to take pride in playing all 82 games. But they don't do it anymore. Long-term wise, is that good for their health? Probably. Will it prolong their careers? Probably, although given the number of injuries today's players deal with, that might not be the case. But is it disrespectful to former players, as well as the fans? For sure.

If you bought a ticket to see Jordan, you would see Jordan. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about most of today's NBA superstars.

Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas playing against the New York Knicks

"Everybody wants to play in the Garden, besides the Knicks" — Gilbert Arenas goes in on New York Knicks fans

Gilbert Arenas breaks down why superstars don't want to play for the New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley

"Patrick Beverley in the playoffs is an issue" — Iman Shumpert speaks on Patrick Beverley's value to the Los Angeles Lakers

Not everyone can see it right now, but Shumpert understands the importance of Pat Bev to the Lakers.


"It was an unmitigated slaughter calling out Shaq on everything" — Kobe Bryant savagely criticized Shaquille O'Neal in an unreleased statement

Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck talked about at the unpublished Kobe interview where he apparently ripped Shaq like never before.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

"He’ll give you the shirt off his back" — Juwan Howard's Michael Jordan story reveals the other side of Black Jesus

Juwan Howard expected to get trash-talked to death upon seeing Michael Jordan in Los Angeles.

Boston Celtics legend Kevin Mchale, Marcus Smart, Blake Griffin, Grant Williams, Malcom Brogdon

“The team honestly is stronger than any one coach” — Kevin McHale explains why Ime Udoka's scandal did not crumble the Boston Celtics

Celtics legend Kevin McHale admitted that he thought Udoka's suspension would significantly affect the Boston Celtics

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and forward Carmelo Anthony

"Multiple points of opposition" — Jeremy Lin addresses Carmelo Anthony's rumored jealousy and who squashed Linsanity

Rumors suggested that Carmelo Anthony played a part in the New York Knicks' decision not to re-sign Jeremy Lin.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury

“They hate your existence because you’re persistent and consistent” — Stephon Marbury has Kyrie Irving’s back

Marbury also said that Kyrie is a true leader and someone he wants his son to look up to.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and point guard Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson opens up on Tom Thibodeau’s rigidity — “He wanted everybody to be just, like, Army serious all the time”

Tom Thibodeau seemingly wanted his players to be as serious as him, but that approach has seen a mixed bag of results in the past years.