The game of basketball extends itself as a type of mental warfare for its best players, and Michael Jordan was Commander in Chief.
Every reasonable person’s pick for G.O.A.T., Jordan continually showcased unbelievable athleticism in the Association, but his mouth did most of the damage when it came to sabotaging an opponent’s balance. Throwing jabs at fellow players, or any opponent bold enough to guard him, Jordan continually fueled his hankering for equal opportunity pestering and a** whooping.
Two players that were on the receiving end of Jordan’s verbal fury were Allen Iverson and Al Harrington. The two ballers, that combined for 30 seasons of solid production, joined Shannon Sharpe on his podcast and shared some of the scenes of name-calling and mental games that Mike would dish on the hardwood.
Harrington remembered a time when MJ persistently called him a less-than-flattering nickname.
“So finally I got to the point where, it’s Michael Jordan, but I’m like damn, why you gotta keep calling me a h*e. He’s like ‘you is a h*e’. So I had to wear it.” said the former Indiana Pacer. Harrington played for seven different teams in 16 seasons, only returning to Indiana years after they drafted him.
Philly legend Allen Iverson also got to see some game action against Jordan. To get Iverson stirred up, Michael would call him a little b*tch on the court. A.I. didn’t mind that it came from the all-time best.
“So for me it was like, you know, I grew up a Knicks fan, right? Well, obviously, everybody you gotta like Michael Jordan at the end of the day, but it was just a surreal moment for me, but at the same time you know I went out there and I competed against him for sure.”
Iverson was never shy to get scrappy, which may be telling of a great respect that he held for the all-time legend in Jordan.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela