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Rod Higgins On Why Michael Jordan Wanted To Practice With The Warriors Before Returning To The Bulls In 1995: “MJ Really Wanted To Play Against Hardaway And Sprewell”

Rod Higgins On Why Michael Jordan Wanted To Practice With The Warriors Before Returning To The Bulls In 1995: “MJ Really Wanted To Play Against Hardaway And Sprewell”

We have heard numerous stories about how competitive Michael Jordan was during his playing days. The Chicago Bulls legend would go out of his way to prove he is better if someone challenged him. 

For example, once a fan got elbowed to the floor after challenging Michael Jordan. While that might be an extreme example, it proved that Jordan spared no one if they questioned his skills. 

But sometimes, MJ would seek out the challenge himself. Something like that happened before Mike's return to the Chicago Bulls in 1995. By then, Jordan's speculated return to the NBA was one of the most anticipated events since he was playing minor league baseball at the time.

Although no one could question that Mike still had it in him, it was Jordan himself who wanted to test himself against two players. Yes, we are talking about then-Golden State Warriors players Tim Hardaway and Latrell Sprewell. 

While Hardaway was already an All-Star point guard during that time, Sprewell was an upcoming talent in the league. Well, to fulfill his request Mike called then-GSW assistant Rod Higgins. 

Via NBC Sports Chicago

“MJ really wanted to play against Hardaway and Sprewell, because Sprewell was the new ‘it,’ so to speak, in terms of the 2-guard. Once Michael got warmed up, you could tell his objective was to basically kick Spree and Tim’s behind, and talk trash to them… he basically measured Spree up.”

The primary focus of MJ's request to play against the aforementioned players was to test himself. If he can still defeat one of the best young players in the league or not? It is safe to assume Mike must have had a sensational game against them.

Because soon after that secret practice, Mike formally announced his return to the NBA.

Following his return to the league, the Bulls reclaimed their spot as the best team in the league. During his second stint with the Bulls, MJ led the team to three more NBA championships. 

He later said goodbye to the game of basketball for the second time in 1998, albeit for a short time. He would return to play for the Washington Wizards for two seasons in the future but finally hung his sneakers for good in 2003.