Roy Williams recalls Michael Jordan's competitive nature

Justin Parrish
May 18, 2020 - 7:39 pm

The final two episodes of "The Last Dance" are now in the rearview mirror and one might feel like they've heard everything there is to hear, in regards to Michael Jordan's competitive nature. 

Former Kansas and current University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams joined The Drive on Monday afternoon and shared a few personal encounters with Michael that didn't make it into the documentary.

Williams can't help but laugh a little, when recalling a time that former Tarheel Head Coach Dean Smith asked him, "Roy, do you think Michael really has a gambling problem?" "No." he recalled telling Smith. "Well you may have started it," he said.

"At practice, Coach Smith would put Michael on one team and the other four starters on the other team, then they'd have contests. I'd tell Michael that he's gonna lose a contest." "What you wanna bet?" he'd ask. "Two Coca Colas. Then it would go to five Coca Colas. By the time he left, I probably owed him 1,000 Coca Colas." 

"Don't do that," Smith once told Williams, after learning of his soda bets with Michael. "He's got enough going, cause he already wants to kill everyone anyway. Don't give him any more reason to do those kinda things."

As competitive and dominant as he was, Michael still lost on occasion. According to Coach Williams, Michael took it exactly as you would expect... Very poorly. Williams goes on to tell a story of the time at an ACC Tournament in Atlanta. when he beat Jordan in three straight games of pool at the team hotel. "He didn't speak to me for 24 hours and he thought that I was telling everybody," chuckled Williams. "He was the most focused and competitive player that I have ever been around."

With Michael, it's always a competition. Whether it's betting dimes and quarters with the security guys, sodas with the assistant coaches, or money on the golf course with teammates. Michael always wanted to compete and Michael wanted to win.

Listen to the full interview below:


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