Common perception is that Michael Jordan was the model teammate. It will tell you that he excelled at building his teammates up and bringing out the best in those around him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
One incident has Michael Jordan riding Bill Cartwright on a particularly bad night for Cartwright.
In the locker room Michael Jordan resorted to trying to embarrass Cartwright in front of the team. He was offensive to the point that afterward, Cartwright pulled him to the side and said
"Look, if you ever do anything like that again, you will never play basketball again because I will break both of your legs."
You probably never heard about that though, because MJ can do no wrong.
Another incident includes an actual physical confrontation with a teammate. The Bulls were in practice when Will Perdue laid a hard screen on Jordan. Imagine someone playing hard in practice!
This did not sit well with His Airness. He was infuriated to the point where he felt it necessary to punch Purdue in the face. Yes, you read right. To PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE.
Imagine if you will, an article comes out tomorrow that features a story about Kobe Bryant punching Pau Gasol in the face because he set too hard of a screen at practice.
Imagine LeBron James punching one of his nice guy teammates in the face like say, Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Imagine what the initial reaction and backlash would be if this happened once...now multiply it
Not only did Jordan get physical with Will Perdue, he also felt the need to punch Steve Kerr in the face! Jordan and Kerr were known to have two different opinions on the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was being voted on.
Kerr was a Players Union leader while Michael wanted to dissolve the Union. They had many heated discussions about the subject. One day during a practice, Steve Kerr was guarding Jordan.
Kerr was reportedly playing tough defense on Jordan- too tough for Jordan's liking. So much so, that he felt the irresistible urge to punch Steve in the face. And he followed through with it.
A Model citizen indeed. Not once, but twice did he feel that it was excusable to physically attack his TEAMMATES.
You can imagine the reaction to anyone that was considered the face of the league today (Kobe, LeBron, Durant) attacking their teammates. Everyone would have a field day crucifying them. But not so for His Airness... his reputation gets a pass.