Sunday, November 1, 2009


He was the first player at every practice and the last to leave, the hardest-working NBA practice player any of them had ever seen. The only problem was the degree to which he dominated everyone else. Early on, Rod Thorn called over to the Bulls’ practice facility, Angel Guardian, to talk to Loughery, only to find that everyone had already gone home. Why was practice over so early?, he asked the next day. “I had to let them off early,” Loughery said, “Michael was wearing them all out.”

In those days in practice, they played five-on-fives until one team reached ten baskets, and the losing team had to run laps, ten of them to be exact. Jordan did not like to run laps, so he was very tough in those games. Once, with his team up 8-0, Loughery switched him to the weaker team, Michael was furious about it. Jordan played in a fury, of course, which was what Loughery wanted, and his new team came back to win, 10-8.

From "Playing for Keeps" by David Halberstam