Throughout his illustrious career, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan had several nicknames associated with him that further emphasized his greatness. Jordan‘s legacy has only further been cemented by the various monikers that he has received over the years from His Airness, Air Jordan, and MJ. However, there is one nickname that hasn’t garnered as much attention compared to the others as he once referred to himself as Black Jesus.
Michael Jordan’s nicknames
Jordan is most associated with each of the first three nicknames listed throughout his historic career or just simply his last name, Jordan.
His Airness and Air Jordan are both in direct correlation to his partnership with Nike that was part of his own apparel brand with the company. Jordan’s agent, David Falk, played a significant role in coming up with the Air Jordan name while His Airness was a play off that brand name.
He was the epitome of those monikers as he represented that for many fans over the years as the way he often looked like he was gliding in the air. It was part of his image that fueled his iconic prestige on the court. However, there was one nickname that many may not know he wholeheartedly embraced.
Michael Jordan told Reggie Miller he was Black Jesus
There many iconic stories associated with Jordan over the years that many of his opponents firmly remember.
One of those came from Hall of Famer Reggie Miller that occurred at the beginning of his career. During an appearance on The Jimmy Kimmel Live show back in March 2015, the former Indiana Pacers great recalled the time in a preseason game in his rookie year in 1987 that Jordan put him in his place.
My rookie year we were playing the Chicago Bulls, and this is Michael Jordan’s third or fourth year in. And we were playing an exhibition game…most veterans do not like to play in exhibition games, they want to get to the real thing. I’m a wide-eyed, energetic rookie and…Michael’s going through the motions. And Chuck Person—who’s on my team—who is a trash-talker as well, is like, “Can you believe Michael Jordan, the guy everyone’s talking about, who’s supposed to be able to walk on water? You’re out here killing him, Reg! … You should be talking to him!” And I was like, “You know what, you’re right!” “Michael…who do you think you are? The great Michael Jordan? That’s right, there’s a new kid on town!” He kind of looks at me and starts shaking his head. So at half I have 10, and he has four points…end of the game, the second half, he ended up with 44 and I ended up with 12. So he outscored me 40-2. And as he’s walking off, he’s like, “Be sure, and be careful, you never talk to Black Jesus like that.”
Jordan was in his fourth year in the league and already established himself as one of the best players in the league after coming off a career-best 37.1 points per game in his third season. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he had that aura of confidence about him that early in his career.
Michael Jordan’s legacy
It’s another story that further emphasizes the ultra confidence he had in his ability that court quite early in his career.
Jordan had made his stake as being the best scorer in the league after his career-best campaign. It also shows that he had no fear in his trash-talking as that was another component to his game that fueled him.
The former Chicago Bulls great was fueled by doubt and trash talk. He used any little slight against him, and Miller was no different even in a meaningless preseason game.