Scott Burrell shot to fame through "The Last Dance" as Michael Jordan's favorite crash test dummy. Jordan just bullied the man during his stint with the Chicago Bulls to the point of embarrassment. Interestingly, Burrell and Jordan once played 1-on-1, with MJ barely winning. However, he denied Burrell a rematch for a hilarious reason.
In their 1-on-1 duel, Jordan won 7-6 — a surprising score given the GOAT's stature in relation to Burrell. Feeling that he had figured Jordan out, Burrell wanted a rematch, but Jordan responded:
"So you can tell everyone, all your friends, family, and relatives, that you beat Michael Jordan?" Jordan asked. "If I win, what am I going to say to my family: 'I beat Scott Burrell?'"
From what we know about Burrell, he probably just smiled at Jordan's epic response. Others would have covered their faces in embarrassment or gotten extremely mad. Not Scotty. He's a kind soul who has a great sense of humor. Jordan's words, no matter how harsh, never got under his skin.
Amid Jordan's nasty antics towards him, Burrell understood where the GOAT was coming from. Jordan simply wanted to win. And he did not give orders just for the sake of boosting his ego. Jordan pushed himself every game or practice session, and he wanted his teammates to do the same.
"Everyone respected Mike — you could say maybe feared or respected," Burrell said. "Every time he yelled, it was for a specific reason, and he was right. You might have forgotten a play or a defensive responsibility."
It's amazing that while Burrell's stint with the Bulls only lasted one season, he's one of the most memorable players that played alongside Jordan. Probably because he was the only one who responded differently to Jordan's tirades. Others turned the other cheek, or like Steve Kerr, had enough and got into a fight with Jordan.
Maybe this was the reason he almost won against Jordan. He felt no pressure playing against Mike. He was playing the game he loved the most, against arguably the greatest player of all time. That's already something to be happy about.