Everyone knows Michael Jordan loves playing golf and is one of the most competitive athletes ever. Both of these facets were on full display during the summer of 1992 in Barcelona when the Chicago Bulls legend suited up for the Dream Team in the Olympics.
Before a Dream Team game, Jordan not only played 36 holes of golf and chose not to sleep to get some rest, but he also guarded a point guard who called him overrated and made his life miserable.
Michael Jordan played golf before a game and locked down point guard who called him overrated
Charles Barkley and Mike Krzyzewski recently spoke with Ernie Johnson about how Jordan never slept during the Dream Team experience. Barkley told a fascinating story involving MJ, golf, and the term “overrated.”
“We get up one morning. We got a game. I think it was at like 6 o’clock,” Barkley said. “Me, David Robinson, Chuck Daly, and Michael go and play 18 holes of golf, and then Chuck says — by this time it’s around noon — let’s go back and get some rest. Michael’s like, ‘Well, imma play 18 more.’ And we go like, ‘Michael, we got a game tonight.’ He’s like, ‘Imma play 18 more.’ So we get to the game, and Chuck says, ‘Hey Charles, you got this guy, Patrick (Ewing) you got this guy, Michael you got that guy.’ He says, ‘Oh no, I got the point guard.’ He had read in the newspaper that this guy said Michael Jordan was overrated and he could score on him, and I’m not even lying Ernie, he guarded this guy like it was Game 7 of the Finals. This dude never needed sleep.”
Jordan not only got two rounds of golf in, but he also tormented his opponent on defense and made the point guard pay for calling him overrated. It’s too bad we don’t know who the player was that called the six-time champion overrated.
The Dream Team went undefeated in the 1992 Olympics. Barkley may have led the team in scoring, but Jordan was undoubtedly the face of the club.
Michael Jordan was the face of the team that changed international basketball
Jordan and the Dream Team basically changed everything about international basketball in 1992. Their popularity was responsible for the NBA’s profile taking a huge jump by shaping how the world felt about basketball in America.
After the 1992 Olympics, the NBA saw a rise in international players coming to America to play in their league. Jordan and the Dream Team unquestionably helped bring sports to a place in which they could have global cultural influence.
Jordan finished the 1992 Olympics with averages of 14.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. He was also the only player to start every game. Since he was the best in the NBA and the focal point player of the Dream Team, Jordan’s popularity soared in the summer of 1992, and he became a global superstar.
However, being a global star wasn’t always fun for MJ.
His Airness didn’t have any privacy
No matter where he went in the world, Jordan had no privacy whatsoever. He couldn’t go out in public without getting bombarded by fans asking for pictures and autographs.
Being the most popular person on the planet wasn’t always enjoyable for Jordan because he couldn’t do normal things with his family. That was the price the six-time Finals MVP had to pay for being the greatest athlete and performer in the world.
Jordan has escaped the spotlight somewhat now that he no longer plays in the NBA. He’s the majority governor of the Charlotte Hornets and doesn’t do on-camera interviews because he presumably doesn’t want to take the attention away from his players. Plus, he’s probably enjoying having privacy for the first time in several years.