The untimely death of his father in 1993 had a tremendous impact on Michael Jordan's life. So much so, that it was actually one of the driving forces that pushed him to retire for the first time. This was one of the main talking points from Sunday's episodes of “The Last Dance.”
As it turns out, not only did James Jordan Sr. have a significant role to play in his son's life, but also, with Jordan's teammates with the Chicago Bulls as well.
As a matter of fact, former Bulls big man Will Perdue opened up about how the team actually had a closer relationship to James as opposed to Michael.
“As far as M.J.'s dad, he was the nicest person,” Perdue said, via Sam Quinn of CBS Sports. “You'd be so surprised … his dad was always around the practice facility. As soon as practice was over, Michael would be gone, but his dad would drive separately, and his dad would stay behind and hang out with us. I remember numerous occasions when we were at the Berto Center, the practice facility, him and I would just sit down and have conversations about anything and everything.
Perdue went into detail as to why the elder Jordan's approach had a more positive impact on the team and why they unsurprisingly gravitated towards him.
“If you were there shooting late, he might come out and rebound for you, he might come out and just start talking to you when you're shooting free throws, walk with you as you walk off of the floor. He might come in the locker room, he had the run of the joint. He was so genuine, he was such a gentlemen. Quite honestly, a lot of the players had stronger and better relationships with him than they had with Michael, and a lot of it was that he made himself more available than Michael did.”
As Perdue mentioned above, Michael Jordan was all about business — this was the role he had to play as the team's leader. His father, on the other hand, perhaps compensated for his son's lack of a deeper personal relationship with his teammates, and as a result, made quite an impact on guys like Perdue.