Michael Jordan is one of the greatest players of all time. But, there were times when he expressed odd childlike behavior. This probably had to do with the fact that he was the fourth of five children. Given his need for attention, MJ often threw tantrums. Tantrums, that former Bulls head coach, Doug Collins did not know how to deal with. But, as revealed in the book The Jordan Rules, that changed after Phil Jackson was put in charge.

Jordan’s childhood shaped his actions. He was often overlooked by his father, who focused more on his elder siblings. This resulted in His Airness throwing tantrums like a child even in the NBA. But Phil Jackson, understanding the void, became the father figure MJ sought, providing guidance and support. This allowed Jordan to flourish both as a player and as a person.

Michael Jordan used to test Doug Collins with tantrums but it never worked with Phil Jackson
The Chicago Bulls drafted the greatest player in their history when they selected Michael Jordan in 1984. He was an absolute superstar on the court. But, like most superstars, MJ was also prone to throwing tantrums.

Having been starved of attention as a child, Jordan was keen to have the spotlight on him at all times, even in practice. He had a habit of trying to establish who was in charge by making a scene every so often. Something former Bulls head coach Doug Collins couldn’t handle.

In fact, it reached a point where the six-time NBA Champion lost all respect for Collins. Seeing as he was unable to dole out punishment when required, especially when Jordan was at fault. Inevitably, Collings was let go and Phil Jackson was hired. Luckily for the Bulls, Jackson had no problem being the father figure Michael so desperately needed.

“…Jordan was often like a child searching for discipline, pushing matters as far as he could until someone came forward to punish him. Jackson was quick to catch on, and would use Jordan’s need for a father figure to his own advantage; he would not tolerate Jordan’s childish fits. But when Collins caved in so quickly to Jordan’s admittedly puerile tantrum, Jordan realized two things: He could do what he pleased without threat of punishment, and he could no longer respect his coach.”

Phil was exactly what Michael needed to get over the hump. Following his hiring, the team found much success going on to win six championships and sealing its legacy as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.

MJ and Jackson shared a special bond, one that helped them win six championships
Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson shared an unbreakable bond, winning six rings together. In fact, Jordan loved playing for Jackson so much, that he made a declaration. A declaration that Phil would be the last coach he plays for with the Bulls. A show of unwavering loyalty that he displayed before their “Last Dance” in 1998.

They are truly one of the greatest coach-player duos in NBA history. Their partnership became synonymous with basketball excellence, mutual trust, and unparalleled success.