Steve Smith told a story where he was guarding Mike, and after Mike hit his first bucket he said, “38.” Steve is just like, “huh?” Mike hits another shot. “36.” It was then that Smith realized that MJ was giving him a countdown from 40. And according to Smith MJ predictably did score 40 that night. He is the greatest.
Edit: apparently he only went for 39; still the GOAT.
I always remembered this story as the Jazz owner being the person that yelled it at Jordan, not some random heckler. I think I like this version better.
Jordan was one of those players who didn't get rattled when you try to antagonize him.
He got hyper-focused and then fucked your shit up. Kobe was like that too.
Jordan is legendary for doing shit like this.
There are compilation videos on YouTube where former NBA players talk about pissing off Jordan and how it was always a bad idea.
There was one where some rookie, who was matched up with Jordan for the game, had like 14 points at half while Jordan only had 12. So he mocked Jordan for it.
In the second half Jordan held him to two 2 points, while dropping like 36 additional points for himself.
Then just casually told the dude "Don't speak to me ever again"
Stockton and Malone, the greatest NBA combo that never won a championship, largely because of Michael Jordan.
C'mon, guy. If Jordan could dunk over the Monstars when he was playing for the Tune Squad, of course he could dunk over someone his own size.
TIL John Stockton is 6' 1". He looked like 5' 5" or something next to your average NBA player.
MJ was an absolute freak. You didn't even have to like basketball to be in awe of this guy back in the day. Super human.