The relationship between Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony dates back close to 20 years. After his retirement in 2003, Jordan signed a 19-year-old Anthony as his first signature athlete under the Jordan Brand. Since then, MJ has been a mentor to the 19-year veteran, who signed a one-year with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.
But with the friendship comes friendly banter, as Carmelo shared some of the digs he’s hurled at Jordan. And every time, Jordan has had a perfect response for everything Melo throws his way.
Carmelo Anthony has tried to trash-talk Michael Jordan
You can make a strong case that no player has a claim to diss Michael Jordan; he of six rings, five MVP awards, and 10 scoring titles. But Anthony has a better case than most, as the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft is 10th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
In an interview with the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast, Anthony revealed what he says to Jordan to try to get under the GOAT’s skin.
“[He was] too small,” Anthony said. “He talks about how he would have run me out of the game, [how] I’m out of shape, that I’m going to get tired chasing [him]. But I tell him, ‘You were too small. You were light.'”
Melo might have a point, at least when you compare the size between the two of them. The 6-foot-6 Jordan played around 200 lbs but bulked up to 215 later in his career. However, the 6-foot-7 Anthony currently weighs in at 238 lbs.
Jordan has the same response to any argument with Carmelo
Even if Carmelo has Jordan beat in size, MJ has him beat in nearly every other stat. Most importantly, he’s got him beat in rings, something Anthony has to hear about all of the time. (h/t Million Dollaz Worth of Game)
“You can’t argue with that man, it’s impossible. He knows there are a few of us that go back at him. We talk our s*** to him. But then he gets to start talking about winning and rings and s***. That’s his defense mechanism. [He] just throws his rings up. C’mon, Mike.”Carmelo Anthony
While Anthony may find MJ’s argument techniques questionable, he also acknowledged that Jordan’s knowledge makes him impossible to beat.
“You can’t argue with somebody who’s knowledgable about everything,” Anthony continued. “Like he knows s*** about you that you might not even know. And he’s throwing that into the argument, and I’m like, ‘How did you [know that]? Did you do research?'”
Anthony hopes to get a ring of his own
While matching Jordan’s six rings may be tough for the 37-year-old Anthony, getting at least one ring should help the forward have a little bit more to stand on. Fortunately for him, he’s in a position to contend with the Lakers, as he’ll join All-Stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook in the quest for LA’s 18th title.
Heck, even getting to the NBA Finals would be a huge step for Anthony. The 10-time All-Star has made one conference final, a six-game loss to Kobe Bryant‘s Lakers in 2009. A trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2013 was the only other time Melo has made it past the first round in 18 seasons.
“If I hadn’t picked LA, I would have been at peace walking away from the game, knowing that I gave everything I could and I still couldn’t win a championship,” Anthony said on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. “I would have been at peace with that. I would have been good. But now that I’m with the Lakers, I can’t be at peace with not winning a championship.”
But even if Anthony lands his coveted ring, MJ probably won’t stop talking about his own rings anytime soon.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.