Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/23/12

Michael Jordan was about as intense and competitive as it comes for an athlete. He even infamously once punched teammate Steve Kerr during a Bulls practice several years ago.

Kerr was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and talked about the incident.

“I disagreed with him one time,” Kerr said, “I think he punched me in the face.”

Kerr was laughing when he said that, and tried to play it off like he was just kidding. But he elaborated on the incident after being pressed by Patrick.

“It was just the intensity of training camp. We got into a scrimmage, both teams were jawing, and Phil [Jackson] had left the court to go take a phone call and it just got out of hand.”

Kerr said he was stepping up to MJ in response to all the trash talking. Jordan didn’t like it, so he clocked Kerr in the face.

“It was just the competition. It was one of the best things that ever happened for me, really,” Kerr said. “I needed to stand up and go back at him, I think I earned some respect. But we have a great relationship ever since … you gotta prove it and then once you prove it that you’re tough enough, then you’re fine.”

After hearing more and more stories about MJ’s playing days, I’m convinced he would have been a lot more disliked and less beloved had he played in this era. Can you imagine if footage of Jordan punching Kerr in training camp got out? It would have gone viral faster than the video of LeBron supposedly getting dunked on by Jordan Crawford. Everyone would have been calling him an a-hole.

But I guess it’s that attitude from Kerr that gave Michael the confidence to pass to him in crunch-time. That, and Kerr’s lifetime .454 three-point shooting percentage.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk, CSN Chicago

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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