19 Stories about Michael Jordan’s Trash Talking

Check out 17 of his best trash talking stories we could dig up from across the interwebz, including trash talking quotes, as well as where possible, video (and when you’re done, check out Larry Bird’s best trash talking stories).

1) Running Commentary – MJ vs Nick Anderson

Nick-Anderson-vs-Michael-Jordan
Shaq told the story to the Dan Patrick show, of how MJ dominated his teammate, Nick Anderson:

“I’m coming down. I’m going to dribble it between my legs twice. I’m going to pump fake and then I’m going to shoot a jumper. And then I’m going to look at you. And that’s exactly what he did.”

Source: Dan Patrick Show

2) The Blind Free Throw – MJ vs Mutombo

In a Nov. 23, 1991, game against the Denver Nuggets, Jordan had some fun with Dikembe Mutombo at the free throw line with five seconds left in a Bulls victory. “Hey, Mutombo. This one’s for you,” Jordan says, and makes a free throw with his eyes closed and afterwards, a big smile on his face.

3) ‘Shoot it You F-Ing Midget’ – MJ vs Muggsy Bogues

Michael-Jordan-vs-Muggsy-Bogues
When Johnny Bach was coaching with the Hornets in 1995 they had a good team. Glen Rice, Mourning, Johnson. Series was tied at 2 and Hornets had a chance to win game 5 in Chicago.

On the biggest possession of the game, Mugsy had the ball with the Hornets down 1.

Jordan backed off of him and told him: “shoot it you f—ing midget.” Mugsy shot it, didn’t come close. A year later Mugsy actually told Johnny Bach that he believes that single play ruined his career. His shot never recovered.

Source: TBJ

4) “He Can’t Guard Me” – MJ vs Gerald Wilkins

When the Bulls played the Cavaliers in the 1993 playoffs, they had brought in Gerald Wilkins, aka ‘The Jordan Stopper’ in an effort to shut down the superstar.

However, Jordan had other ideas, giving Wilkins buckets the entire series, culminating in him saying “He can’t guard me, he can’t guard me” after he hit a tough shot.

5) ‘The Shrug’ MJ vs Clyde Drexler

After comparisons were made between Clyde Drexler and Michael Jordan throughout the 1992 season, including Sports Illustrated listing Drexler as Jordan’s “No. 1 rival” on a cover the two appeared on together before the playoffs, MJ wanted to settle the argument when they matched up in the finals.

Jordan scored a Finals-record 35 of his 39 points in the first half and set another record with six 3-pointers – the very shot the Blazers wanted him to take – in the first two quarters of the Chicago Bulls’ 122-89 victory in Game 1.

“When my shot started falling from everywhere, I ran to the 3-point line,” said Jordan, who was just 27 for 100 from 3-point range in the regular season and 5 for 16 in the playoffs.

All those first-half points came despite a stretch of more than five minutes at the start of the second quarter when Jordan was on the bench, resting. And they came so thick and fast – and from so far away – that at one point the NBA’s Most Valuable Player nailed a 3-pointer, then gave a shrug as if to say: “What can you do?”

The answer from the Blazers: Nothing.

“I was in a zone,” Jordan said. “The 3s felt like free throws. I took them and they went in.”

The blowout tied for the third-largest in championship-series history, just two points shy of the biggest – Washington’s 117-82 win over Seattle on June 4, 1978.

Jordan made a shambles of the ballyhooed individual battle with Clyde Drexler, who scored 16 points for the Trail Blazers.

On the eve of the Finals, Jordan compared himself to Drexler, who took 338 3-point shots in the regular season and made 114. Jordan said the Portland Olympian was a better 3-point shooter “than I choose to be.”

6) ‘I Got Him’ – MJ Shuts Down Allan Houston

It was just a scrimmage, but it has become folklore in this history of basketball. In 1992, the greatest team ever assembled ran over the rest of the world en route to winning the Gold Medal at the Barcelona Olympics. The “Dream Team” consisted of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, David Robinson Charles Barkley, and a slew of other top NBA talent. No team came close to beating them at the international level. However, a collection of young college stars did manage to hang an ‘L’ on the superstars in a closed practice scrimmage.

The US Olympic team coach at the time, the late Chuck Daly, ordered that the scoreboard be wiped clean in hopes that reporters wouldn’t see what happened (though many believe Daley actually lost it on purpose). Chris Webber, Bobby Hurley, Allan Houston and Grant Hill were able to defeat the NBA All-Stars 62-54.

Before the rematch the following day Jordan pointed at Allan Houston and said “I got him,” and as the legend goes, he didn’t touch the ball for two hours. Dream Team annihilated the kids, bringing them back to reality.

Source: The Victory Formation

7) “Is He Big Enough?” – Jordan vs Utah

One game in Utah, Jordan dunked on John Stockton. Jazz owner Larry Miller yelled “pick on someone your own size.” On the next possession he dunked on 7’1 center Mel Turpin and shouted “he big enough for you?” as he ran back up the floor.

8) Jimmy Jackson Wearing Jordans

During a Heat – Nets Summer League game, Kendall Gill shared one of his Michael Jordan stories. During the 1996-1997 season, while Jim Jackson was on the Nets, Jackson was enjoying a good game against Michael Jordan and the defending champion Chicago Bulls. Jackson was talking trash to Jordan who shut up Jackson by pointing out that he was wearing Jordans.

9) “I Told You Not to Trash Talk Me – MJ vs Darrick Martin

In November 1995, during their expansion season, the Vancouver Grizzlies improbably found themselves leading the soon-to-be 72-win Chicago Bulls in the fourth quarter. After hitting a jumper to boost the Grizzlies’ lead with about two minutes left, guard Martin ran by the Bulls’ bench and said, “I told you we were going to beat you tonight.”

Jordan almost immediately stood up, checked himself into the game and, as he sauntered onto the court, said to Martin, “Little man, I told you not to trash-talk me.” Jordan then proceeded to obliterate Vancouver almost single-handedly – scoring 19 of his 29 points in the last 6 minutes.

Source: Sports Illustrated

10) “I’m the Best Player in the World – Michael Jordan vs OJ Mayo in High School

“I’m playing in my camp against O.J. Mayo, he was a top high school kid coming out,” Jordan says. “And I had never met him. First time. In front of my camp, he starts this thing about ‘you can’t guard me, you can’t do this.’ I got my campers here, so obviously I can’t really can’t go where I want to go because I own my camp. So I stop the camp, send the kids to bed.

“We go back to playing, and he starts his whole thing ‘you can’t guard me.’ Finally I just said, ‘You may be the best high school player, but I’m the best player in the world.’ So from this point on, it’s a lesson. And from that point on, it was a lesson. He never won a game. I posted him up, I did everything.”

11) Winking at the Bench vs Jerry Stackhouse’s 76ers

Philadelphia rookie Jerry Stackhouse, at the time the “next Michael Jordan”, had apparently said earlier in the season he could play Jordan one-on-one, and his transition to the NBA had been easier than expected.

Jordan scored a season-high 48 against the Sixers, winking at the Philadelphia bench after almost every score. Afterward, Jordan said that “basketball taught [Stackhouse] a lesson” in the game.

“I heard on CNN that somebody said I made a quote that said I could beat [Jordan] one-on-one,” said Stackhouse, a North Carolina product who had played against Jordan in Chapel Hill. “It’s not that I didn’t say it, I’m not going to back down, either. I think I might’ve said I didn’t feel anybody could stop me one-on-one. Next thing I know, it’s Jordan, it’s Chicago.”

Source: Baltimore Sun

12) “You’re a Loser – MJ Destroys Rodney McCray

Rodney-McCray-Chicago-Bulls
When asked by Sports Illustrated, a former teammate of Michael Jordan had this to say: ‘He’s the most viciously competitive player I’ve ever seen. That’s what makes him, I think, the greatest player ever. He has practically ruined [reserve forward]Rodney McCray for us.’ When the two players are on opposite teams in scrimmages, the source says, “[ Jordan] is in Rodney’s face, screaming, ‘You’re a loser! You’ve always been a loser!’ Rodney can hardly put up a jumper now.’ McCray ended up winning a title that year, but only averaged 15.9 minutes per game. It was also the last season he ever played.

Source: Sports Illustrated

13) ‘Why Should I Cool Off on You?’ – Michael Jordan vs LaBradford Smith

LaBradford Smith, the 19th overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, averaged 6.7 points per game for his three-year career.

However, he can brag for the rest of his life that he once had quite a game against Prime Jordan in the early 1990s.

On March 19, 1993, Smith’s lottery-bound Washington Bullets traveled to Chicago to take on the defending champion Bulls. Smith received his fourth straight start as he teamed with All-Star Michael Adams in the backcourt and was given the assignment of matching up with Jordan.

Smith, who averaged just 9.3 PPG for the season, went on to light up MJ for a career-high 37 points. He connected on 15 of his 20 field goals and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

The Bulls, however, still won the game, 104-99. Jordan got the win, but he wasn’t very pleased with the fact that he allowed an unknown player like Smith to drop so many points on him.

In the post game interviews Jordan said, “That was a very embarrassing situation for me. Evidently I didn’t respect the guy and he’s certainly capable of putting up some numbers, and he did. Offensively, it wasn’t going for me and I let that effect my defensive effort and that’s something I will improve on {Saturday}. I look forward to the challenge”.

According to some journalists close to the team, he also promised to score 37 points, LaBradford’s total, in the first half of the next game.

And, he keeps his promise. Almost. He started the game with amazing intensity and hits all of his first 8 shots from the field. When he sits down on the bench 3:15 to go in the first quarter, he already has 19 pts, 4rbs, 2 stls. With just 3 seconds remaining in the second quarter, he’s at the foul line to shoot two with 35 points. Misses the second one and finishes the half with 36 points.

What’s even more impressive is that he plays lockdown defense on Smith who goes only 2 for 8 in the first half. And one of those two baskets comes when Jordan is on the bench.

At half time Bulls have a 14 point lead and the game is practically over. Since the mission is accomplished, Jordan plays very loose in the third and sits the whole fourth quarter.

“I was in a different game mode this time,” said Jordan, who hit 36 of his 47 points in the first half. “LaBradford put me there.

“What bothered me {Friday} was that the guy came at me and was very aggressive, and my retaliation was terrible,” Jordan said. “I played terrible. I wasn’t prepared for it. He surprised me with the way he attacked me.”

“I didn’t have any hard feelings toward LaBradford Smith. He really showed people something, that they’ve got a good player.”

“But I didn’t have any animosity toward him at all. I told B.J. {Armstrong} before the game that it was going to be a personal game, but I won’t take it out of the team concept.”

“We were talking a little trash. He told me, `Cool off. Cool off.’ And I said, `You didn’t cool off on me (Friday) night. Why should I cool off on you?’

Said Bulls coach Phil Jackson: “Michael was ready to play {Smith} tonight. He had a little bit of vengeance. It seemed to be a personal vendetta for the first 10 minutes of the game. I think the message was sent and delivered, and everybody was all right from then on out.”

Source: Bleacher Report/YouTube

14) The Countdown – Michael Jordan vs Steve Smith

In the above clip (starting at the 4 minute mark), Steve Smith shares a story when MJ gave him the countdown.

“One time he started counting backwards,” Smith says. “He said something like ’38’, and i didn’t get it, then he said ’36’…wait a minute, wait a minute, he goin’ backwards and when he gets to zero, he got 40! Me & Michael had a lot of talks.”

15) “I’m Gonna Tell You What I’m Gonna Do – Michael Jordan Drops 69 on Craig Ehlo

Michael Jordan scored a career high 69 points against the Cavs. There was an article in the paper that Jordan read the day of the game, the headline was “Mission Impossible: Ehlo to try and ground Air Jordan.” Ehlo failed, and to add insult to injury, MJ talked trash the whole way through.

In Ehlo’s own words:

“Listen man, I’m hitting everything, so I’m gonna tell you what I’m gonna do this time and see if you can stop it. You know you can’t stop it. You know you can’t stop this. You can’t guard me.

“I’m gonna catch it on the left elbow, and then I’m gonna drive to the left to the baseline, and then I’m gonna pull up and shoot my fadeaway.”

And sure enough …

“Like I said, he was never mean or bad about it. But on that one play I was like, OK, well, if he’s gonna tell me what he’s going to do, then I’m gonna take advantage of this. And I was right there with him when he did—but sure enough he banked it off the backboard. We were heading back down court, and he gave me that kind of shrugged-shoulder look that you’d always see and he’s like: “I told you. I told you.” And I just said, “Don’t do that again.”

“I was right there, step for step with him, just like he said. It was amazing. I guarded it as well as I could. I had the hands up in his face to defend [the shot]. But that’s just how good that guy was.”

Source: Deadspin

16) “I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass” – Jordan vs Robert Parish

Michael-Jordan-Larry-Bird-Robert-Parrish
In one of his first practices with the Bulls, Parish botched one of the plays and was amused to find Jordan jawing at him just inches from his face.
‘I told him, “I’m not as enamored with you as these other guys. I’ve got some rings too,”’ Parish recalled. ‘At that point he told me, “I’m going to kick your ass.” I took one step closer and said, “No, you really aren’t.” After that he didn’t bother me.’

Source: ESPN

17) Jordan Drops 43 on Reggie Theus

Kenny Smith shared this story on NBA Open Court (from the 5:25 mark in the above vide).

“He was really mad at Reggie Theus, because when Reggie got traded, Michael was the draft pick coming in and Reggie was like “there’s noone that can replace me that’s a rookie”. So MJ said, just tell Reggie I’m gonna get 45 tonight. So i went to the locker room and said “Reggie, Michael said he’s gonna get 45 tonight.”

“So he ended up with 43, he comes into the locker room, and sayd I didn’t get 45 but you gotta come to Chicago, he was mad that he didn’t get 45!”.

18) Wizards MJ vs Bulls Rookie Jay Williams

Michael Jordan Jay Williams
In his rookie season, Williams played against Jordan, who was then with the Washington Wizards. Jordan went at Williams on several consecutive possessions. Each time, Jordan told Williams how he would score—first over the left shoulder, then fake over the left shoulder and shoot over the right, and so forth—and each time, Jordan scored exactly as he said he would.

Source: NY Times

19) ‘You got no Chance Today, and You Never will’ – Michael Jordan vs Barkley

Rockets were playing without the injured Hakeem and Drexler. Pippen was playing only his 5th game after returning from his long injury. The stage was set for two old friends and they didn’t disappoint.

They were both 35 years old but their competitive fire was still young. Besides the great performances, there was lots of thrash talking, fun and mutual respect for one another. The only thing missing were the cracked asphalt and chain nets.

“There was a lot of trash talking today, most done by me and Charles. It just adds to the game,” Jordan said after scoring 45 points and leading the Chicago Bulls past Barkley and the Houston Rockets, 106-100.

“Charles is not Charles with his mouth shut,” Jordan said. “That’s like me playing with hair.”

“You may see us jawing at each other every now and then. I think the fans get an understanding of the competitiveness between us and it’s not done in a nasty way. It’s done with a lot of smiling,” Jordan added.

“We’re trying to jockey for the referees’ preference.”

Barkley, like Jordan, did more than run his mouth. He scored 35 points – 19 over his average – and had 14 rebounds but still the Rockets lost for the 10th time in 14 games.

“It was old-time trash-talking,” Barkley said. “These kids today think trash-talking means getting real personal and challenging your manhood. They’re missing the point. It’s just about trying to get to the other guy a little bit, having fun.

“This was like it used to be when (Larry) Bird and Magic (Johnson) went at it. Or when Isiah (Thomas) was doing his thing with the Pistons.

“I went by him once and told him, `You’re an old man.’ He’s two days older than me.

“He told me, `You got no chance today, and you never will.’ It was all stuff like that.”

Source: YouTube

Written by Catfish Hughes

Catfish Hughes

Frank “Catfish” Hughes has been called, “Bob Knight’s Baby with Hip Hop that covers sports.” and “the future of sports writing!” He is an official member of the NSSA & USBWA. Catfish covers the Los Angeles Angeles as the official East Coast Voice of the Lakers, and owns the NBA media outlet, WickedJumpShot.com and was the host of Thru the Wire Sports Talk Radio which aired on both ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. Catfish is the head editor and chief here at the Boxing Globe. @CatfishHughes on twitter.