‘You didn’t see anything’: How MJ forced AFL coach into silence over infamous punch-up

The Last Dance may be over but for one former AFL coach, it means that everyone in the world knows what he did more than 20 years ago.

Michael Jordan’s fierce competitive streak was what defined him as an athlete and his teammates quickly learned this too.

But unlike some, former Chicago Bulls star Steve Kerr was not as easily intimidated by Jordan and decided to stand up to him.

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The full extent of the stoush between Jordan and teammate Kerr at a training session was revealed in the popular ESPN and Netflix docu-series.

Bulls coach Phil Jackson had put Kerr up to guard against Jordan, then things turned nasty.

“We’re on opposite sides of the scrimmage, and he’s talking all kinds of trash, and I’m p***ed because we’re getting our a** kicked,” Kerr said.

Jordan added: “Phil sensed my aggression, but he was trying to tone me down, and he starts calling these ticky-tack fouls.

“Now I’m getting mad, because for you to be protecting this guy, that’s not going to help us when we play New York. That’s not going to help us when we play these teams that are very physical.”

Michael Jordan’s competitive streak was on full display in his stoush with Steve Kerr (Photo by KIMBERLY BARTH / AFP)Source:AFP

“I have a lot of patience as a human being, but I tend to snap at some point because I’m extremely competitive, too,” Kerr said.

“I’m just not really good enough to back it up, usually. But I’m going to fight.”

So Kerr punched Jordan.

“He hauls off and hits me in the chest, and I just haul off and hit him right in the f***ing eye,” Jordan said. “And Phil just throws me out of practice.”

Former Fremantle Dockers coach Gerard Neesham and assistant coach Neale Daniher had been invited to Bulls training by Aussie NBA star Luc Longley.

They didn’t expect to see what they did that day between Jordan and Kerr and they certainly didn’t expect to be leaving under an oath of silence.

Gerard Neesham was confronted by Jordan.Source:News Corp Australia

Appearing on SEN Breakfast, hosts Garry Lyon and Tim Watson explained how they had heard during the week that Neesham had witnessed the fight first-hand and were looking to get his account.

But as the former Dockers coach explained, an agreement made with Jordan meant he couldn’t really answer the question.

“I actually can’t answer that Tim, I’d like to answer it, but there was an incident that happened,” Neesham said on SEN Breakfast .

“We were in this tiny little opera setting way above the training basketball courts, we were watching it and filming it.

“There was an incident and then Michael Jordan came over to us and said, ‘You two Aussies’. We looked at him and he said, ‘You didn’t see anything’. So I’m sort of bound by the fact that 22 years ago he said to me we didn’t see anything.

Aussie Bulls player Luc Longley helped the pair come over to watch them train for a few days.Source:News Corp Australia

“As it’s turned out it (the incident) was pretty extraordinary but we were given the opportunity to spend four or five days there thanks to Luc Longley.”

The Last Dance has given the rest of the world an insider’s glimpse into what Neesham said he already knew from the time he spent in Bulls camp.

“We were watching people who are really going aggressive at training, really demanding a high standard and because we are only sitting in there for a few hours of each day for a few days, you get an understanding of the whole picture that I don’t think anyone has until this series has come out,” he said.

“It showed really an amazing story, to see him being so determined to win. I think it is one of the truly amazing stories and having been there for a few days made it good fun now.”

Originally published asJordan swore AFL coach to secrecy

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