Kendall Gill checked in with Scoop B Radio’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson. Press Play Below To Listen!
Six time NBA champion Michael Jordan didn’t become NBA royalty by just shutting up and playing.
As a matter of fact, he was one of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA and he backed it up too!
So was the case during the 1996-97 season when MJ and the Bulls took on the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena on March 29, 1997.
Coached by John Calipari, the Nets went 26-26 that year and had a mixed roster of youngsters and vet that included rookie Kerry Kittles, as well as Jayson Williams, Sam Cassell, Kendall Gill and Jimmy Jackson.
The Bulls got the 111-101 win, but the scoring duel in that game between Jimmy Jackson and Michael Jordan was interesting and included smack talk between the two.
In that game, Jackson had the hot hand in the first half. The former Ohio State Buckeye and current Fox Sports 1 analyst had a good first half against the Bulls and poured in a quick 20 points and began smack talking to His Airness.
“Jimmy Jackson was giving it to Michael in the first half,” Kendall Gill, Jackson’s New Jersey Nets teammate told me on Scoop B Radio.
“Then in the second half, Michael turned it up and he started giving it to Jimmy.”
For the record, this was the final regular season game between both teams. Two weeks earlier, the Nets came away with a 1 point victory over MJ and the Bulls in New Jersey.
Jordan had 36 points in the loss.
Jackson and Jordan were both jawing and according to Gill, during a break in the game, Jackson directed smack talk Jordan’s way.
That’s when Jordan let Jackson have it. “He looked down and he said: ‘you know what Jimmy you talking a lot of stuff there with my shoes on,’” said Gill.
“How can you come back after that? Shouldn’t talk stuff to a guy when you got his shoes on.”
For those keeping score at home, Jackson finished the game shooting 10 for 18 from the field and outscoring Jordan with 33 points. MJ finished the game with 21 points on 9 of 21 shooting; but with a Bulls win.
Chicago would also be crowned NBA Finals champs that year.