Coach Knight was selected as the skipper for the 1984 Olympic Team, a squad that featured Jordan and his North Carolina teammate Sam Perkins, Patrick Ewing, and Chris Mullin, just to name a few. Perkins was the one who drummed up this story, and he did so on SiriusXM’s “Above The Rim” show.
After a 78-67 victory over Germany in the quarterfinal, Perkins painted a picture of just how rough Knight was as a coach. “Bobby Knight, he got after us. He told Michael that’s the worst he ever played,” said Perkins. “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 here,'” continued Perkins. “I waited for my apology because I thought he was going to actually do it. But he actually cried.”
Undoubtedly, Knight was unrelenting, but it’s clear he was picking on MJ because he was the team’s best player, and his game was very un-Jordan-like. Michael, who finished as the unit’s leading scorer with an average of 17.1 points per game, ended the contest against Germany with just 14 points and six turnovers, thus sparking Knight’s outburst.
The beratement didn’t affect Jordan’s game that much, and just four days later His Airness went for 20 points in the Gold Medal game as the United States downed Spain 96-65.