If you are too young to have witnessed Michael Jordan play basketball during his college or NBA career, at least you have the benefit of the internet to have seen him cry. The ubiquitous Crying Jordan meme is now embedded into the pop cultural lexicon, making MJ the most famous waterhead on the planet. And according to college teammate and 1984 fellow USA men's basketball Olympian Sam Perkins, MJ wason the receiving end of a rant so nasty he sobbed and need a back rub. And I'm not talking about those emotional moments when he won his six NBA titles.
Perkins confirmed in a Sirius XM NBA Radio podcast Tuesday that the GOAT actually had legendary college basketball coach Bobby Knight rip into him during a 1984 Olympics game versus Germany. Knight was the head coach of the Team USA men's squad, and he reportedly embarrassed His Airness so much in the Team USA locker room that after their team's toughened-out 11-point victory, Jordan's tear ducts began to well.
Although Knight scolded the entire team for what he perceived as a mediocre style of play during the team, Perkins said the Hall of Fame coach singled Jordan out of the pack. "He told Michael that’s the worst he ever played. Now, Michael’s going to deny this but he cried, he cried after the game because of the fact that Bobby Knight told him, 'You should apologize to everybody in here.'" Perkins further explained that Olympic teammate and then-close friend of Jordan's Leon Wood consoled him after getting chewed out by Knight.
The motivational tactic must have worked because Perkins claimed Knight wanted his team to be prepared for the next game, and they eventually won the gold medal. To hear the rest of the story from Sam Perkins about a young Crying Jordan 30 years prior to the creation of social media's most popular meme, you can listen below.