Scoop B Radio’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson and Roshown McLeod relive Michael Jordan’s dunk on Dikembe Mutombo. Press Play Below To Listen!
The argument began in the Eastern Conference team’s locker room before the 1997 NBA All Star Game.
Cleveland’s Gund Arena was the scene and the Atlanta Hawks’ Dikembe Mutombo swore up and down Michael Jordan couldn’t dunk on him.
“Dikembe don’t even try it,” said MJ
“Do you want me to call Scottie,” asked Dikembe
“He lyin’,” Michael told a room full of All Stars that included Patrick Ewing and his son Patrick Ewing Jr.
The dunk challenge wouldn’t commence that day; MJ and Mutombo were Eastern Conference teammates for the day.
But Michael wouldn’t forget.
Months later, it happened!
In a regular season home game at Chicago’s United Center, the Bulls were playing in a half court set with Jordan’s defender, Christian Laettner switching on defense and guarding Mutombo’s man, Bulls center, Luc Longley.
On a give and go play, Michael Jordan passes the ball to Luc Longley in the post, which forced Mutombo to guard MJ on the left side of the floor. Jordan uses his speed to cut to the basket and Longley passes the ball to MJ.
BOOM! It happened!
MJ gets his precious dunk AND wags his finger at Mutombo the same way Mutombo does when he successfully blocks shots.
The crowd goes wild and the Atlanta Hawks call a timeout to regroup.
“That was a legendary moment,” said Roshown McLeod, a retired Atlanta Hawk and former teammate of Mutombo told me on Scoop B Radio.
“And a guy like Jordan has had a bunch of those moments when they played the Jazz and he dunked on Stockton and one of the fans yelled out to him: ‘why won’t you pick on somebody your own size,’ and he dunked on Mel Turpin and he’s like 7’2” and he was like is that guy big enough for you?’”
Check out MJ’s dunk on Mel Turpin
MJ has had his share of dunks on folks like John Starks and Patrick Ewing. He had something to prove.
“You know, he had an answer for everything that came out of somebody’s mouth,” said McLeod.
“And very few guys were able to do that but when you find a guy like Jordan and a guy like Kobe that could do it, it was a memorable moment.”