Apart from being one of the greatest players ever, Michael Jordan was often regarded as a ruthless trash-talker as well. Possessing more than the required skills on both sides of the court, the 6-foot-6 guard was always able to back up his every word.
Steve Smith was one of the many players who had to face the wrath of MJ. As Smith once revealed, Jordan would often talk his talk all game long. But on one occasion, Mike found a unique way of getting in Steve s head counting backward from 40 throughout the course of the contest.
Across his 15-year illustrious career, the Bulls legend has several iconic trash-talking incidents hitting a bling free throw against Dikembe Mutombo, chirping at Craig Ehlo while going on to drop 69 points, and referring to himself as Black Jesus in a verbal altercation with Reggie Miller, among many others.
Steve Smith, who spent 14 years in the NBA, had several battles with the Bulls. However, one of them is as savage as you can expect it to be.
Michael Jordan Started Counting Backward: Steve Smith
Being a 6-foot-7 two-guard who was pretty reliable on the defensive end, Smith was often allotted the tough task to guard Jordan.
During one of their clashes, after every bucket, MJ would start counting backward from 40. 40, 38, 36, and so on. As soon as MJ reached 0, he had lodged a total of 40 points.
Have a look at Smitty explaining the incident, on NBA Open Court. One time he started counting backward. He said something like 38, and I did t get it. Then he said, 36. Wait a minute, wait a minute; he s going backward, and when he gets to zero, he got 40. I and Michael had a lot of talks.
While talking about the antics of his former teammate Ken Norman, Steve also revealed a funny incident involving Air Jordan.
Steve is t the only one to fall prey to Mike. Some of the game s greatest defenders dreaded guarding the 6-foot-6, high-leaping guard. Anecdotes like these make it pretty clear why MJ is one of the frontrunners for the GOAT title.
Steve Smith Spoke About Scottie Pippen S Offensive Game After Mj S Retirement
During his stint with the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen was a vital player in the team s success. Despite being a two-way star, it was Michael who did a lot more of scoring.
Unable to prove his full capabilities on the offensive end with the Bulls, Steve Smith revealed that he improved after Jordan retired. Having shared the floor with Scott as teammates during their time with the Trail Blazers, Smith once explained:
When Michael got a chance to retire, you got a chance to see Scottie Pippen s offensive game. He was a great teammate, a great guy.
During MJ s first retirement, the 6-foot-7 forward would record his career high in points, averaging 21.7 PPG during the 1993-1994 & 1194-1995 campaigns. But, as many know already, he enjoyed his greatest successes when he was together with Michael. Of course, the same applies to the GOAT too.