One very beautiful moment for me was when we traveled to L.A. to play against the Lakers. Unfortunately, Kobe did not play since he was injured again. From the second I set foot in Staples Center I was looking for him. I wanted to see how he looks like from up close. How tall is he, how he moves. We are talking about one of the best players of all time. When the game started, in a timeout, I saw him on the bench. He had that killer look, even though he was in his ‘civilian’ clothes on the bench. I also have that look! Nah, kidding!
“The basketball court for me, during a game, is the most peaceful place I can imagine. I truly feel less pressure there than anyplace I go. On the basketball court, I worry about nothing. When I´m out there, no one can bother me. Being out there is one of the most private parts of my life. No one bothers me at all, even the other players on the court, except when I get fouled. Being on the court is very much like meditation for me. If something is on my mind, I can think about it on the court. If my wife and I have had a disagreement at home I know that if we have a game that night, I´ll be out there on the court by myself for a few hours, and by the time I get home again at the end of the evening, all of that will have passed.”
– From the book “Rebound- The Odyssey of Michael Jordan”
“In the offseason I don´t work on dunks, I work on basketball skills. Don´t get me wrong, dunking is a nice aspect to have…but I don´t want to be labeled as a dunker. In high school, I wasn´t labeled as a dunker, I was labeled as a scorer. Once I got to the NBA, I was labeled as a dunker. I´ve worked so hard over my career to be more than just that.”
“I never had a moment where I cried. But having something taken from me that I loved and that I worked so hard at my whole life was really hard. When I went out and started hooping again, it was me and a couple of my family members. I had this feeling inside me, like, this is the greatest joy in the world – basketball.”
“When I was going through the Draft process, everybody was talking about how I needed a nickname. Some people were calling me a beast, saying I played like an animal. And one of the guys at my agency said: You know what? We´re going to call you Manimal. You just play so hard and you´re so intense, we should just call you Manimal. At first I was kind of like, Nah, I like my nickname from college- in college my nickname was K-Time. Took me about an hour of thinking about it and I realized Manimal did fit. Also, I got the hair for it: half-man, half-lion.”