Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan cried during the 1984 Olympics despite USA win

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Michael Jordan is the biggest name in the world of basketball, but at one time he was a young man trying to make a splash in the big leagues having just been drafted by the Chicago Bulls. 

Before he even stepped foot in the NBA he was a college phenomenon and represented the United States at the 1984 Olympic Games back in the days before 'professional' players were cleared to play. 

It is during those games that something quite incredible happened. According to Sam Perkins, his former teammate for North Carolina and the national team that won gold in Las Vegas, the shooting guard was reduced to tears by then-head coach Bob Knight.

The States made their way to the semi-finals thanks to a tight win over West Germany, but Knight was far from impressed by the performance and wanted to make sure his players were aware of it ahead of the final four. 

Perkins said: “Bobby Knight, he got after us. One story real quick. He told Michael that’s the worst he ever played. Now, Michael’s going to deny this but he cried, he cried after the game because of the fact that Bobby Knight told him, ‘You should apologise to everybody in here.’ … Leon Wood was his boy at the time so Leon Wood went over there to pat him on his back and say, ‘It’ll be alright, it’ll be alright.’

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"But the thing about it, Bobby Knight was just trying to instill some, you know, even though we didn’t play that bad, it’s the fact that he just wanted us to wake up for the next game because anything could happen. But that’s the way Bobby Knight coached.”

Having committed six of the United States' 14 turnovers to help their opposition stay close, MJ clearly took the words to heart. But it helped him come back even better; he committed just one turnover in the remaining games as they claimed a gold.

His 20-point performance in the gold medal game still lives long in the memory.

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