Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player to ever step foot on an NBA court. Fans who are old enough to have witnessed “His Airness” (and the 90s Bulls) in real-time know that it was a privilege to see him play the game.
But it’s been over 20 years since Jordan’s last NBA game. And for a younger demographic, Jordan is perhaps better known for his shoe line than he is for hitting buzzer-beaters or scoring 40 points per game in a playoff series.
It’s understandable. Jordan helped put Nike on the map early on in his NBA career. An old Nike ad from 1994 featuring number 23 just resurfaced online and it’s still as iconic as ever, just like his shoes.
The 30-second ad features Jordan playing in a practice-like setting. To no one’s surprise, he’s playing well and talking tons of trash while doing so—a combination he was very much known for.
Michael Jordan’s Trash Talk Game Was Legendary
If you were bold enough to talk trash to Michael Jordan on the court, odds are you had to eat your words before the game was over. There are countless “when keeping it real goes wrong” stories about Jordan—but none are as funny as Reggie Miller’s.
Miller recounted on Jimmy Kimmel Live the time, as a rookie, he talked trash to Jordan and quickly realized that he best not do that again.
“My rookie year we were playing the Chicago Bulls, and this is Michael Jordan’s third or fourth year in,” Miller recalled. “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!’” the NBA vet continued. “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 in town!’ He kind of looks at me and starts shaking his head. So at the half, I had 10, and he had four points… the 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.’”
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