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July 27th, 2012
04:19 PM ET

Michael Phelps on Michael Jordan: "He came out every single night on the court and did what he had to do...that's what champions do"

Coming up on Monday night at 9 p.m., "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomes one of the most-decorated Olympic athletes in history, 16-time medal winner Michael Phelps.

Joining Piers Morgan as he prepares for his third games, the 27-year-old swimming legend is asked to extend his thinking outside of the pool, as the host dives in with a deeper, and broader question:

"Who are your sporting idols?" Morgan asks the man so similarly described by others.

"Michael Jordan," responds Phelps, nearly as quickly as he executes one of his trademark flip turns. "He changed the sport of basketball in my eyes. On and off the court, the guy made basketball what it is. And, you know, what he did."

What the basketball Hall of Famer did, was rewrite the history of his craft, much in the same way Phelps is doing with his. A six-time NBA champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Jordan's overall talent was rivaled only by his overwhelming will to win, a trait not lost on the equally-competive Phelps:

"I think one of the coolest things that I loved about him was it didn't matter what he had going on off the court or if he was sick or this, that. He never used an excuse," explains the man who has twice tied the record with eight medals of any type at a single Olympics. "He came out every single night on the court and did what he had to do to get his job done. That's what champions do. It doesn't matter what else is going on when you walk in to your arena, whatever you excel at, you’re there to take care of the job that you have to do."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in Monday night at 9 p.m. for a candid conversation with the man who finds himself a mere three medals away from becoming the winningest athlete in Olympic history.
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Filed under: Pride of America
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. John Wo

    After Piers Morgan went after Robert Blake, who I am no fan of, in a shameless display of attack journalism, he then tees it up for Mitt Romney with a series of fawning softball questions with no meaningful followups. That's what you get when hire from the ranks of reality show contestants and talent show judges.

    July 28, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carole

      This is about Phelps. Mitt Romney has a pool? You gotta be kidding!

      August 4, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. colormecoolz

    Piers I think your interview is sneaking and a malicious attack on American women.As you as mr.Phelps if he's ever had proper dating.Why wouldn't he of ever had a proper date American women can be proper just like anywhere else .That PDA in front of the queen was disgusting there was no need for them to makeout in front of the queen is that proper according to the skit he just meet the girl.It says to me London is lowering it's standards letting you take pot shots at our athelètes esspecially one that makes Great Brittian look like sissys

    July 28, 2012 at 5:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
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    July 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nancy

    Please write a letter of apology to the people of United Kingdom, letting them know Mitt Romney's rude comments was uncalled for. Mitt Romney along with Bob Costas from NBC were all hoping this big day would be ruined for the people of London who worked hard to put a wonderful show. Romney has deliberately put a dent on our relationship with United Kingdom. We understand he needs his support from Israel or the chosen people won't let him win the election for Israel in United States. 

    July 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brian

      I am English and he hasn't offended me one bit , refreshing kind of for somebody to speak the truth.
      David Cameron to call the Salt Lake City Olympics a place in the middle of nowhere , now that was rude as it was meant as a personal insult.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Andre R. Newcomb

    Michael. Jordan had some issues to settle with the guy who killed his father. If it wouldn't have been for that he might have gotten Jabbar's scoring record. YOU don't need a hero.

    August 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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