Michael Jordan Speech About Larry Bird Was Very ‘EMOTIONAL’

Prior to Michael Jordan’s NBA career, “Larry Legend” had a message for him.


Before competing in the 1984 Olympics, the USA men’s basketball team played a series of exhibition games against NBA All-Stars. The NBA was taken aback by a team of undergraduate athletes captained by Michael Jordan, and the North Carolina native amazed the basketball world.





Michael Jordan made it obvious that he was the next great thing even before he played in the NBA. But players like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird would not allow the young gun to lightly replace them. For this reason, the latter put Jordan in his place with a single, simple gesture.


During the pregame warm-up one evening in Indianapolis, an Olympic team ball rolled to the professional team’s end of the court. Jordan pursued it. That was grabbed by Larry Bird. Instead of sending the ball to Jordan, Bird smiled and blasted it back over his head. Jordan claims, “Bird was telling me it was all business now, and I was beneath him.” ‘Your planet, thank you for visiting. For Sports Illustrated, Curry Kirkpatrick wrote, “‘I didn’t forget.”






Magic and Bird, members of the NBA team, went from crushing the Olympic arena to defeating All-Stars in their matchup with college athletes. Nevertheless, Team USA won eight straight games against the pros, showing that they were no match for Michael Jordan and company.

The All-Star roster was dynamic, with players like Isiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, Robert Parish, James Worthy, and Clyde Drexler in addition to the two superstars noted above.


Future Hall of Famers Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton were not on Bob Knight’s team. Rather, Patrick Ewing, Sam Perkins, and Chris Mullin joined Jordan.


Though some of the omissions were deemed controversial—Barkley being one of the most notable—Knight was able to assemble the perfect lineup for lineup USA. They won the gold medal at the Olympics a few weeks later and swept to a perfect 8-0 record after missing the 1980 competition.

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