Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Did you also know that he is the greatest smack-talker of all time, as well as the fiercest competitor in all of sports? Here are three of the most legendary MJ stories.
1. “Who’s going to check me tonight?”
Michael Jordan was the master of intimidation. During the 1997 playoffs, Mike walked into the Washington dressing room before the game and flat out asked “who’s going to be checking me tonight?” while smoking s cigar. The Washington players all looked over at Calbert Cheaney, who was the assigned defender and and started laughing. The Bulls won that game.
2. “Let’s play some 1 on 1”
One day during a Charlotte Bobcat’s practice, there was suddenly lots of commotion on the court. Michael Jordan (now 49), who is the owner of the Bobcats, challenged Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (the 2nd overall draft pick in 2012) to a one-on-one game…and won.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was interviewed later, and seemed embarrassed that he lost to a 49 year old. Jordan’s brother Larry, who also works in the Bobcats organization, said that Jordan didn’t make it into the office the next day. MJ got as far as the trainer’s room, and received treatment. When asked how he was feeling, MJ said “I couldn’t hardly move”. What a competitor.
3. “You may be the best high school player, but I’m the best player in the world”
Michael Jordan was running a basketball camp, and the best high school player in the country (OJ Mayo) started talking smack to Mike and saying silly things like “You can’t guard me!”. Michael proceeds to stop the camp, send all the other players to bed, and challenge OJ Mayo one-on-one. OJ Mayo got dismantled by Michael Jordan, and never talked smack to him again. By the way, Mike was 43 years old.