Iowa Men's Basketball

B.J. Armstrong played with Michael Jordan, worked with Jerry Krause

Former Hawkeye star has been popular interview subject in light of "The Last Dance"

Former Iowa/Chicago Bulls B.J. Armstrong in the Kinnick Stadium press box in Iowa City on Oct. 19, 2019. (Mike Hlas/The
Former Iowa/Chicago Bulls B.J. Armstrong in the Kinnick Stadium press box in Iowa City on Oct. 19, 2019. (Mike Hlas/The Gazette)

B.J. Armstrong isn’t just watching “The Last Dance,” he pretty much lived it.

The former University of Iowa basketball player was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1989. Two years later, he was on the first of three straight NBA championship teams with Michael Jordan’s Bulls. He started 72 games and averaged 12.3 points for the 1992-93 team, and started all 19 playoff games for that club, the Bulls’ third title team.

After playing with Golden State, Charlotte, Orlando, and briefly the Bulls again before retiring in 2000 at 32, Armstrong became a special assistant to Bulls vice president of basketball operations Jerry Krause before leaving the organization in 2005.

Since 2006, Armstrong has been with Wasserman Media Group as an agent for NBA players, the most notable being former league MVP Derrick Rose.

Armstrong has been a popular interview subject in recent days. He appeared on FS1’s “Speak for Yourself” Monday and said the following:

“One thing I can say about Michael Jordan, nothing was going to deny him to achieve what he wanted to achieve. That includes the Bulls’ front office, the league, or whomever. The man just had an undeniable spirit about himself.

“Michael Jordan was going to do whatever was ever necessary, and certainly I can say without question, he was going to achieve and stop playing whenever he wanted to stop playing.

“It was Michael’s father, rest in peace, who said the following: 'If you want to get the best out of my son, just tell him what he can’t do.' So, I know that Michael was not going to be denied. I don’t care what was said, because no one was going to come on the floor and beat Michael Jordan. No one. And he was going to do whatever was necessary and he was devoted to this war. He was devoted to winning, he was devoted to the game.

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“So whatever was going on, he was comfortable being uncomfortable, and all of the drama, all of the characters … in the end, he was the lead character. He was the lead character, he knew it.

“No one beat Michael Jordan. No one.

“You could say a lot of different things, but the man was unstoppable. He was unstoppable. And I will continue to say that.”

As for Jordan being hard on Bulls teammates and Krause in footage shown in the first two installments of “The Last Dance” that ESPN aired Sunday, Armstrong told Associated Press this:

“Let me be real candid here. If that is the worst you’ve seen, then you’ve never seen the Chicago Bulls before. That was nothing.”

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