Why Michael Jordan’s vicious trash talk didn’t ‘hurt’ Scott Burrell
Former Chicago Bulls swingman Scott Burrell was one of the main characters in Sunday’s episodes of “The Last Dance,” as the series showed how Michael Jordan used to pick on him relentlessly during practice.
Some folks were left pitying Burrell for the horrendous ordeal he went through under Jordan’s reign, but as it turns out, the 6-foot-7 small forward didn’t actually let all the smack talk affect him in a negative way.
According to Burrell himself, he knew that it was always all in good fun:
“I never took it as him being cruel or him being evil. People talk junk to each other playing basketball all the time,” Scott Burrell told Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports. “He never physically touched me. So he said some words. Why should words hurt me? I’m an adult. I’m learning every time I step on the court. I’m being pushed like I’ve never been pushed before. I needed that.”
Scott Burrell is an ultimate sport, and even Jordan himself admitted that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t get under the skin of his former teammate.
For Burrell, he always knew that this was Jordan’s way of showing him some tough love:
“They laugh when he rides me just like I do. They know deep down inside that MJ likes me,” Scott Burrell said. “I know MJ likes me. They know he challenged me every day. Who doesn’t like challenges? Well, some people don’t. That’s their prerogative, but I do.”
Finally, Burrell went on to defend the character of MJ, reiterating that everything Jordan put him through turned out to be beneficial for him in the long run:
“I just hope people don’t look at MJ as a tyrant and was too tough on people,” Scott Burrell said. “The majority of people that played with MJ benefited from playing with MJ. Whether it’s new contracts or new deals as coaches, everyone has benefited somehow. I don’t know if I would be a head coach if I didn’t play with Michael.”
Right now, Scott Burrell is the head coach at Southern Connecticut State University, and as he claims, he has Jordan to thank for what he has achieved in his career.