Fourth-Place Medal

Michael Phelps was near tears and incomprehensible in his final post-race interview

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

An emotional Michael Phelps was on the verge of tears during a poolside interview after the final race of his Olympic career and told a halting story that ended with a non sequitur.

Phelps seemed to get emotional while listening to his three teammates speak unprompted about what it meant to be in a pool with the greatest swimmer alive. Brendan Hansen, the American team captain and breaststroke medalist, spoke fondly of Phelps and mentioned how Phelps has had so much impact in the sport that it allows 30-year-old guys like him to keep swimming. As you watched Phelps during Hansen's words, he looked emotional.

[ Video: Debbie Phelps says Michael will hang it up]

Then NBC's Andrea Kremer turned to the all-time Olympic medal leader to ask what he thought his legacy would be:

"One thing that was crazy before I was warming up today, I said to [coach] Bob [Bowman], the one person I've looked up for so many years is the greatest basketball player to ever live and Bob and I have able to do everything to be where we are today."

That -- that makes no sense. Who's the greatest basketball player? Why did you mention him to Bob? And is Muggsy Bogues in London? All so confusing.

But you can't blame Phelps for being a little out of it. Dude had just won his 18th gold medal and finished the greatest Olympic run in history. Of course there were some mixed emotions.

Phelps later clarified he was speaking about Michael Jordan. He and Bob were able to share in the moment of "we got here" -- where "here" is becoming the best swimmer ever -- together. They are swimming's Jordan.

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