If you ever want to get under Michael Jordan’s skin, trash talk him during a game and the GOAT is motivated.
Such was the case during a game during the 1997-98 season against a Shawn Kemp-led Cleveland Cavaliers team that was guided by head coach, Mike Fratello.
According to former Cav, Brevin Knight, who was in his rookie season at the time, his Cavs teammate Bob Sura began jawing at MJ.
“Bob Sura, love him to death,” Knight told the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“My dude. He talked; he was guarding Mike in the first quarter and did well. Comes out the second quarter, he’s talking a little bit. Bob’s like, ‘I got him! We good!” Mike hit us for about 24 or 22 in that second quarter and told Bob, “Don’t you ever talk to a legend like that!” At that point I was literally like — we ended up winning the game, but that was the one moment where I was like, ‘Damn!’ but he wasn’t a big talker. He was just phenomenal man. I’m glad that I got to see his greatness on a quarter. I got to see every move that you thought about that Michael Jordan had did. I saw it in a quarter and that to me was fun and I’m able to say that we were the only team to play and beat them at .500 and get multiple wins that season.”
We’ve heard stories of MJ taking the game that he loves personally. MJ has been rumored to have sung Anita Baker’s “Giving You The Best That I Got” song while torching opponents for 48 points.
There’s also been documented rivlaries like the one with fellow Hall of Famer, Isiah Thomas that was delved into further during ESPN’s Last Dance back in the spring. “Let me tell you this, for that documentary for that season, we were the only team to beat them multiple times in that season,” recounts Brevin Knight.
“Because I don’t think they took us seriously as some young guys running around. First game we played them we’re in Cleveland. They run out the same way out the tunnel with that slow motion with the baggy snap at the bottom, so that’s all just flowing. We were in the layup line and me, Cedric Henderson; still my boy today…we are in the layup line and we’re out first doing layups amd they start to run out to the floor, we stop in the layup line and we just watch as they run on to the floor. For us, this is like God seeing Michael Jordan playing on the floor and now I’m about to play against him? And so Shawn Kemp ran by and slapped us both in the back of the head like, ‘Let’s go! We got to play the game…’ We go on the floor and we play a heckuva game.”
Knight was the Cavaliers’ 16th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft out of Stanford. An NBA All-Rookie First Teamer in 1998, from 1997-2009 Knight played with nine NBA teams including the Cavs, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.
He averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. After a successful NBA career he transitioned into television. He is currently a Memphis Grizzlies analyst on Fox Sports Net Memphis.