When Jordan had the ball in his hands, he would tell his defenders how he would score and still get buckets with ease. There were plenty of times where the Bulls icon told opposing players it would be a long night or that he would get 50 on them and back up his trash talk.
Along with being an elite scorer, Jordan was also a tremendous defender. He took pride in playing high-level defense every night and got angry when players scored on him.
During one particular game, when one of the best shooters in NBA history scored on him, Jordan told the sharpshooter four words as they ran down the court, and the player still remembers that moment to this day.
Michael Jordan took everything personally
As documented in the Last Dance docuseries, Jordan took everything personally on the basketball court. One of the reasons he became the best basketball player of all time is his attitude and will to win was second to none.
When the Detroit Pistons physically beat him up and eliminated him in the playoffs three consecutive years, Jordan took it personally, worked on his body in the summer of 1990, and added the muscle he needed to take hits and dish out pain. The hard work paid off as the Bulls swept the Pistons in the ’91 Eastern Conference Finals.
NBA pundits compared Clyde Drexler to Jordan when the Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers met in the ’92 Finals. That irritated Jordan, who attacked Drexler every game in the Finals to prove he was much better than him. Chicago defeated Portland in six games, with MJ winning his second Finals MVP.
Before he retired from the NBA for the first time, Jordan defeated the Phoenix Suns in the ’93 Finals. He went after Suns small forward Dan Majerle because Bulls general manager Jerry Krause liked him. Krause liking Majerle was enough for Jordan to destroy the Suns’ wing since he hated his GM.
One of the best stories of Jordan taking things personally took place during the ’96 Finals. Seattle SuperSonics head coach George Karl didn’t say hello to His Airness while walking past his dinner table in Chicago, and it didn’t sit well with the Bulls superstar since he and Karl both went to UNC and were friends. Jordan went on to average 27.3 points against the SuperSonics in the ’96 Finals and made it a point to embarrass Karl’s team.
Jordan hated when players scored on him since he took defense very personally. Tim Legler, the eighth-best 3-point percent shooter in NBA history, found that out the hard way.
Michael Jordan told Tim Legler, “That’s it for you”
Legler played 310 NBA games with the Suns, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, and Washington Bullets/Wizards. He’s currently an NBA analyst for ESPN.
During a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Legler told a story about how he hit a couple of 3-pointers on Jordan, and the six-time champion talked trash to him while running back down the floor.
“I remember a game which I hit a couple of 3s because he turned his head and left me, and I remember after the second or third one we’re running down the court and Michael is saying to me on the way down the court, ‘Well that’s it for you. I’m not leaving you again.’ It’s pretty much like the equivalent of the water company shutting your main off.”
These Jordan stories will never get old. People who never saw him play may think he wasn’t real because of all the legendary and impractical things he did with the Bulls. That’s what made him such a megastar.
MJ is still in the news despite being retired
MJ and Nike’s Jordan Brand are giving $1 million to Morehouse College in Atlanta to boost journalism and sports-related studies. The donation will help fund scholarships, technology, and educational programming for students.
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” Jordan said. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
Jordan has a net worth of approximately $1.6 billion. He continues to be unselfish and put his money to good use.