WATCH | Luc Longley on Jordan, Rodman & the Boomers Olympic chances
Australian basketball legend Luc Longley has revealed what it was like to rule the NBA with Michael Jordan, how Dennis Rodman tried to take him to North Korea and his goals for the Boomers at the Olympics.
Speaking to Macquarie Sports Radio’s David Morrow and Mat Thompson for their Heroes segment, the 3-time NBA Champion tried to isolate what set arguably the greatest basketballer in history – Michael Jordan – apart from everyone else.
“I don’t really know how to explain it except that he was just incredibly focused on what he did. He was super super competitive, supremely well prepared, had a huge IQ for the game, practiced as hard or harder than he played, never took a day off.
“That was probably the amazing thing about him was that in my best year I probably would have played well three out of four games and that might be being generous. Over the course of 82 games that adds up to a lot of bad games.
“I never saw Michael have a night off. I never saw him have a bad game. His statistics might have been up and down a fraction but he was Michael Jordan every night. He came for the public, he came for us, whatever it was that was driving Michael it was unrelenting.”
Longley on Jordan
The Perth native also recounted the time his colourful ex-teammate Dennis Rodman tried to rope him into one of his adventures.
“Dennis tried to get me to go to North Korea with him a couple of times. I even had a think about it.
“The first time he called me up about it, I was titillated by the idea of getting a look up the skirt of North Korea and see what it was all about at the private invitation of Kim Jong-un.
“My wife wasn’t very happy about the idea, nor were my mates.
“I asked him to send me the contract and when I got it, it was to Clyde Drexler not me. So he hadn’t got that bit right. And the contract was between Clyde Drexler and Paddy Power who’s the number one bookmaker in Dublin.
“So it didn’t look dodgy at all.
“I think I might give this one a miss Dennis. My wife was pretty happy about that and I’m glad I didn’t go.”
Longley on Rodman
The three-time Olympian who is an assistant coach with the Boomers also has high hopes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“I think we can go all the way. We plan to challenge the Americans in the Gold medal game. Obviously you can’t promise medals and we’ve come fourth four times I think. So the men’s program has never got a medal. The women’s program has and I’ve been involved in most of those.
“We’ve got so much talent running around on the NBA floor. We’ve got guys in the NBL here who in any other Olympic team in the history of Australian basketball – all these guys would be that calibre. We’re a bit spoiled with talent.
“We’re going to have to make some hard choices around how we construct a team that we think is complimentary. We anticipate that Ben Simmons will be playing and you just have to build a team around him which means floor spacing and shooting. So that’ll affect it. We’re really excited about it.”
Longley on Boomers Olympic chances and what happened in the Philippines
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