NBA

Tim Duncan Fired a Surprising Shot at Michael Jordan as a Rookie

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as being arguably the greatest player in NBA history. The former Chicago Bulls great put forth an incredible career that has earned him that prestigious admiration from many of his peers over the years. It’s something that has made him into a more celebrated sports icon due to the success he had during his career and the impact he has had on the generations that have followed him after his retirement. There isn’t a universal outpouring of that emotion from everyone as soon-to-be Hall of Famer Tim Duncan has a different viewpoint of Jordan.

Michael Jordan’s legacy

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Michael Jordan spent 15 years in the league, which he experienced a tremendous amount of success through the bulk of his career.

Although he had already established himself as a stellar two-way talent early on his career behind his scoring prowess and defensive ability, his dominance began to take over in the 1990s truly. That saw him guide the Bulls to six NBA titles in eight years.

Jordan earned Finals MVP award in each instance that never went more than six games. Meanwhile, he also won four of his five regular-season MVP awards during the championship run in the 1990s. Jordan’s legacy took off to the next level behind the dominant stretch that has earned him the recognition as being arguably the greatest NBA player.

Tim Duncan wasn’t impressed by Michael Jordan

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Throughout his career, Tim Duncan was never one to vocalize his feeling via the media as he was typically quiet and to himself.

However, that wasn’t exactly the case early on in his career as he did make one surprising statement about Michael Jordan. During an interview with Dan Patrick for ESPN in 1998, Duncan voiced that he didn’t like Jordan and wasn’t a fan of his. (H/T Fadeaway World)

Patrick: That’s it. You met Jordan?

Duncan: But Jordan’s Jordan. I’ve always respected him but I’ve never been a fan of his.

Patrick: Why aren’t you a fan of Jordan’s?

Duncan: Because everybody else is.

Patrick: Oh, so you don’t like Michael Jordan because everybody else does.

Duncan: No, I don’t like Michael Jordan because I don’t like Michael Jordan. You got me wrong there. I respect Michael Jordan.

Patrick: You respect him. You just don’t like him?

Duncan: I’m just somebody that isn’t that impressed by him. There really isn’t anybody in the world I’m impressed with.

Those comments are a bit puzzling, but it does take a lot for Duncan to be impressed. It isn’t slighting Jordan by any means but shows that not everyone was a fan of his game or had that unwithering admiration for what did during his career.

Tim Duncan still had respect for Michael Jordan

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There is much to take from these comments from Tim Duncan, but above all else, he still has respect for Michael Jordan.

The fact that he wasn’t a fan of Jordan isn’t a shot at him, but rather that he wasn’t fascinated by his game. Duncan has a different personality and characteristics that separated him from many of his peers. His interests were always quite different, while he used different motivation methods to get the most out of what was a first-ballot Hall of Fame career.

Meanwhile, Jordan shared mutual respect toward Duncan as he viewed him as one of the future stars in the league when he was nearing the end of the Bulls’ dynasty. What these comments from Duncan show are a more telling perspective of who he is.