If you made it to the NBA in the 1990s, just as Jim Jackson did, then you knew not to mess with Michael Jordan.
At one point late in Jordan’s career, Jackson tried trolling the future Hall of Famer when they squared off. Jordan responded with a perfect insult that boosted his own ego.
Michael Jordan trolled Jim Jackson in a major way
Jim Jackson should have heeded the old adages about watching what one says to Michael Jordan.
Late in the 1996-97 season, Jackson — then in his lone campaign with the New Jersey Nets — faced off against Jordan and the Bulls in Chicago. Jackson impressed in the Nets’ 10-point loss, scoring 33 points on 18 shots and grabbing seven rebounds.
In a 2018 interview with Fox Sports’ Chris Boussard, Jackson reminisced on matching up against Jordan that night. Jordan only scored 21 points on 9-of-21 shooting, but he grabbed six rebounds and dished six assists.
Jackson said the two started trading quips, and Jordan made it personal at one point.
“He said, ‘JJ, you can’t guard me.’ I said, ‘You can’t guard me.’ So we start going at it, but after the game, [Nets center] Joe Kleine said, ‘Man, leave my young fella alone.’ [Jordan] said, ‘No, me and JJ cool, but tell him that’s why he’s wearing my shoes.'”
Jackson said he was wearing the Jumpman sneakers at the time. Not even Jordan’s response would make Jackson consider trading Jordans for another brand, though.
“I said, ‘Yep, and I’m not changing them,’” Jackson recalled.
Michael Jordan is known for his trash-talking
Jim Jackson may have outscored Michael Jordan, but he left a loser in the box score and in the war of quips.
But that was nothing new for anyone who tried trash-talking Michael Jordan. Regardless of the court, the score, or the circumstances, Jordan had a snappy response to dish out, either in the form of his words or his scoring ability.
No one was safe from Jordan when the Bulls legend had something to say. Even Bulls teammate Bill Cartwright, who was six years older than Jordan, couldn’t avoid Jordan’s taunts and nicknames.
Michael Jordan had different ways that he could beat people, and it served him well throughout his lengthy career.
Jackson overcame the trolling to become a successful broadcaster
Michael Jordan and Jim Jackson are years removed from their matchups on the court and in the old battle of words.
Jordan is currently the Charlotte Hornets’ owner, although things haven’t gone as well there as they did when he played for the Chicago Bulls. As for Jackson, he’s become a popular TV announcer for Fox Sports and Turner.
Basketball fans also see Jackson this time of year during the NCAA Tournament. Jackson is part of Turner Sports’ lead announcing team; he is the color commentator, with Brian Anderson as the play-by-play voice and Allie LaForce on the sidelines.