Bill Wennington, Bulls broadcaster and former teammate
Nate Robinson, Bulls guard who owns 100 pairs of Jordans
In the Finals against the Sonics (in 1996) he hit this tough fadeaway on the baseline. It was a double-pump where he jumped first and he still was in the air and the defender landed. I sneaked into that game in Seattle as a kid. I had to go see MJ live. I was 11 or 12. That was big time for me.
Jim Paxson, former opponent
I was at the peak of my career and I was guarding him one time at Chicago Stadium. He ran off one side off a screen, came off the other side and I thought I was in the passing lane. I had my hand out to get on the ball. The ball went by my hand. … I thought I was doing a great job on one possession and he still pivoted, turned and dunked before I turned around.
Randy Brown, Bulls executive and former teammate
Ask any teammate what Turkey Trot is. Turkey Trot was a Thanksgiving Day practice, smalls against the bigs. It was the best practice performance I've seen in my life in a scrimmage. I think he had 100 points that day.
John Ligmanowski, longtime equipment manager
On the bus, he always had cigars. We had to open the vents on the bus to get the smoke out of there. He was the ringleader. We'd be in Canada and he'd come in and hand everybody a Cuban cigar because they were legal there. He always got the best cigars. And he was very generous. Even now when I see him, I try to infiltrate his cigar stash.
Reinsdorf, on baseball
His baseball career was a tremendous success if you think about it. He had been a pitcher in high school in Wilmington, N.C., So you can imagine what the competition level was. Fourteen years later, he decides to be an outfielder. So now he's a hitter. … We had to send him to Double A because the accommodations at A ball weren't good enough to handle the media horde. He hit .209. That's phenomenal. He could have hit .085. Then in Fall League that year, he hit above .250. The Fall League is where we send our best prospects from Triple A. If he had stayed with it, I believe he would have made the big leagues … at least as a fourth outfielder. I don't know anybody else who could have done what he did … and not embarrass himself.
Jeff Hornacek, Jazz assistant coach and former Jazz guard
People ask me all the time about that last shot he made on us (in the '98 Finals). I always say if you look at the replay, as soon as I saw him go up for the shot, I already was calling for a timeout. I knew he was making it. That was the type of player he was. When games got on the line, you dreaded when he got the ball.
Phil Johnson, Jazz assistant during '97, '98 Finals
I hate him. I can't stand him. (Laughs.) It was just an honor to watch him play. A guy like that, are you kidding me? There's no question his will to win and compete lifted that entire team.
Neil Funk, longtime Bulls broadcaster
The year that we played Phoenix in the Finals, they had home-court advantage. We lose at home in Game 5. Now we have to go back to Phoenix potentially to play two games and they feel like they have momentum. We're at (the charter flight staging area) and everyone has their luggage for the first game, the day off and the next game. Big suitcases. And Michael pulls up and he has this little valise. He comes up on the plane with it and he says, ''Gentlemen, this is all the clothes I brought. We're not going to be there long enough for me to have to change into anything.'' The mood on the plane was very subdued because we had lost the night before. That changed everything.
Tyrone Corbin, Jazz coach and former DePaul star