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Intense question that made MJ break

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The Last Dance has captivated the world’s attention with the ESPN docu-series breaking down the Chicago Bulls’ 1997/98 season which saw them capture their sixth championship.A 10-part series has gone into detail on the characters in the team and their journeys to that final championship with megastar Michael Jordan the focal point.On Monday’s episode, the…

The Last Dance has captivated the world’s attention with the ESPN docu-series breaking down the Chicago Bulls’ 1997/98 season which saw them capture their sixth championship.

A 10-part series has gone into detail on the characters in the team and their journeys to that final championship with megastar Michael Jordan the focal point.

On Monday’s episode, the spotlight is turned onto Jordan and what it was like being his teammate. A notorious and ruthlessly driven individual often let his teammates know exactly what he expected of them and it often led to some unflattering exchanges.

“Through the years, do you think that intensity has come at the expense of being perceived as a nice guy?” The Last Dance director Jason Hehir asked.

READ: Unanswered questions remain over MJ’s dad’s death

Jordan didn’t back away from the question about his unrelenting drive, but what happened during his answer sent shockwaves around social media.

“Well, I mean, I don’t know,” Jordan answered. “Winning has a price, and leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged, and I earned that right because my teammates came after me. They didn’t endure all the things that I endured.

“Once you joined the team, you lived at a certain standard that I played the game, and I wasn’t going to take anything less.

“Now, if that means I have to go and get in your a** a little bit, then I did that. You ask all my teammates, ‘The one thing about Michael Jordan was that he never asked me to do something that he didn’t f***ing do.’

“When people see this they’re going to say, ‘Well, he wasn’t really a nice guy, he may have been a tyrant.’ Well that’s you, because you never won anything.

“I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win and be a part of that as well.”

An emotional Jordan continued: “Look, I didn’t want to have to do this. I’m only doing this because it is who I am. That’s how I played the game. That was my mentality. If you don’t want to play that way, don’t play that way.

“Break.”

The moment left jaws on the floor with many never having seen this side of the legend that is Michael Jordan. A man who rarely showed any emotion outside of a ruthless commitment to be the absolute best at his craft.

Social media quickly spiralled out of control when the superstar got up and walked away from the cameras as the episode came to an end.

Teammates throughout the episode opened up on what it was like to be on the receiving end of the machine that was Jordan during his playing days and the comments were less than flattering.

“Was he a nice guy? He couldn’t have been nice,” former Bulls guard, B.J. Armstrong said on The Last Dance.

“With that kind of mentality he had, you can’t be a nice guy. He would be difficult to be around if you didn’t truly love the game of basketball. He is difficult.”

“People were afraid of him,” former teammate, Jud Buechler, said. “I mean, we were his teammates and we were afraid of him. It’s just fear.

“The fear factor of MJ was so, so thick.”

“Let’s not get it wrong,” former Bull, Will Perdue, said. “He was an a**hole, he was a jerk, he crossed the line numerous times.

“But as time goes on and you think back about what he was actually trying to accomplish, you’re like, ‘Yeah, he was a hell of a teammate.’”

Former Bulls big man, Bill Wennington, adds: “He was pushing us all to be better, because he wanted to win. And guess what? It worked.”

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