KEY POINTS

  • Michael Jordan opened up about his competitiveness in a recent interview
  • Jordan bared that only fishing calms his competitive "nerves"
  • The six-time NBA champ previously explained why he always wanted to compete at the highest level

Michael Jordan still has that insane competitiveness in him, but he has been working on toning it down.

Despite being officially retired as a professional athlete, Jordan’s competitiveness is still part of his everyday life.

In a recent wide-ranging interview with Australian Story, Jordan admitted that being naturally competitive has been a “challenge” for him. Fortunately, he unexpectedly found an effective way to control it – through fishing.

“Now, the challenge is to calm those nerves,” Jordan said of his competitiveness. “That’s why I do a lot more fishing now.”

Jordan further explained that unlike other activities, which could trigger his “competitive juices” one way or another, fishing doesn’t allow that to happen as he has to rely mostly on his “patience” rather than his skills.

“I would have never thought I would get on a boat and go fishing, but the competition of patience and trying to catch a fish, trying to be patient, it’s not gonna happen,” he pointed out. “You can’t make it happen. You just got to be ready when it does happen.”

“Those are all things that I think calms me down a lot more than if I’m playing any sport, if I’m playing golf or if I’m doing anything competitive because I think that’s what I need,” he added. “That’s the therapy that I need to help soothe some of these competitive juices that I have.”

There have been a number of accounts swirling around the sports world of Jordan’s extreme competitiveness. In one instance, Will Smith once revealed that the former Chicago Bulls star would make drinking water a race.

After all, Jordan is well aware that his itch to always compete at the highest level did him good for the most part, particularly during his playing years in the NBA.

“My mentality was to go out and win at any cost,” the six-time NBA champ said on ESPN's 10-part docuseries “The Last Dance.” “If you don't want to live that regimented mentality, then you don't need to be alongside of me because I'm going to ridicule you until you get on the same level with me. And if you don't get on the same level, then it's going to be hell for you.”

“Look, winning has a price,” he continued. “And leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged. And I earned that right because my teammates who came after me didn’t endure all the things that I endured.”

Jordan added, “Once you joined the team, you lived at a certain standard that I played the game. And I wasn’t going to take any less. Now if that means I had to go in there and get in your a-- a little bit, then I did that.”

Michael Jordan guarded by Nick Anderson 12 MAY 1995: CHICAGO MICHAEL JORDAN, LEFT, BEGINS TO MAKE HIS MOVE TOWARDS THE BASKET WHILE KEEPING ORLANDO''S NICK ANDERSON OUT OF REACH FROM THE BALL Photo: Getty Images | Jonathan Daniel