“We Don’t Want to Embarrass You” – NBA Star Once Threatened Michael Jordan Not to Come Back from Retirement
When Michael Jordan returned from retirement, many questioned if he could still play at top level at the age of 38. Jordan had been out of the game for three years, and many people, including the media, NBA players, and executives, thought he was wasting his time.
Michael Jordan was even warned not to return by a great player because he would be humiliated on the court. Jordan, on the other hand, had a fantastic response.
Bill Simmons warned Michael Jordan not to return
“The Star and MJ crossed paths … and The Star started talking smack to MJ, good-natured stuff. You better not come back. This is our league now. We don’t want to embarrass you. That kind of stuff. And Jordan was nodding happily, finally saying, “When’s our first game against you guys? I’m gonna make it a point to drop 40 on you,” Bill Simmons wrote via ESPN’s archives.
Simmons didn’t say who the famous player was, but he talked about it happening in the 2001 Summer League in Los Angeles. This incident occurred when Michael Jordan was present. After the 6-time champion confidently said that he would score 40 points against the supposed star player in their next encounter, the player’s coach became very angry.
“Of course, as the story goes, the star’s coach caught wind of this running exchange and immediately headed over to pull his player away from Jordan. And as they walked away, the coach told the star, “Never talk to him. You hear me? That’s the one guy you don’t talk smack to!”
Even after not playing for three years, coaches were scared of their players talking badly about MJ. They knew he was the greatest basketball player ever. Simmons said that Jordan was like a sleeping tiger because his opponents didn’t want to make him angry by talking trash. They preferred to leave him alone.
“In a league full of smack-talkers, chest-thumpers, and yappers, amazingly, Jordan remained completely off-limits..,” Simmons said.
Jordan’s opponents were well aware that even the tiniest bit of trash-talking would make him very dangerous.