AFL coach sworn to secrecy over Michael Jordan punch-up

Steve Kerr's famous training camp fight with Michael Jordan was featured in The Last Dance. Pic: NBA

Michael Jordan's training camp bust-up with Steve Kerr has become the stuff of legend, with the incident revisited in detail during The Last Dance documentary.

Now it has emerged that two former AFL coaches were there to witness the incident between the Chicago Bulls teammates first hand, however, they were sworn to secrecy by Jordan himself.

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Kerr and Jordan eventually enjoyed plenty of chemistry on court together during a hugely successful period together at the Bulls.

However, their relationship wasn't always rosy, with a violent incident during training camp before the 1995-96 season featuring on Episode 8 of ESPN's widely popular documentary series.

Bulls coach Phil Jackson put Kerr on Jordan for a scrimmage during that training camp, and things quickly turned chippy.

“He’s talking all kinds of trash,” Kerr said of Jordan in the documentary, “and I’m pissed because we’re getting our ass kicked.”

Things between the two kept escalating throughout the practice, especially when Kerr started drawing fouls.

Finally, one time down the floor, Kerr and Jordan snapped.

“He hauls off and hits me in the chest,” Jordan said in the documentary. “And I hauled off and hit him right in the f---ing eye.

“And Phil threw me out of practice.”

So Jordan was sent out of the gym, and Kerr was left with a black eye.

The incident stunned Bulls teammates and a small group of onlookers there to watch the practice.

Among the spectators were former Fremantle Dockers coach Gerard Neesham and assistant coach Neale Daniher, who were both invited there by Chicago's Aussie star Luc Longley.

While the AFL coaches couldn't believe what they had witnessed, they were barred from ever speaking about it after a stern warning from Jordan.

Former Fremantle coach Gerard Neesham was told by Michael Jordan to forget what he'd witnessed. Pic: Getty

Neesham holds true to vow of secrecy

SEN Breakfast hosts Garry Lyon and Tim Watson learned over the weekend that Neesham witnessed the incident so they quizzed him about it on their Melbourne radio segment.

The former Dockers coach said while he admits to seeing the fight, he was sworn to secrecy by Jordan more than 20 years ago.

“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.

“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.”

Neesham said after watching The Last Dance that it was exciting to see that ruthlessly competitive side of Jordan and his Bulls team, that he'd witnessed first hand all those years ago.

“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.”