Angry Michael Jordan Stared at Celtics Legend for 15 Seconds Straight and NBA Veteran Was Forced to Step In: “He Don’t Know the Rules of the Game Mike, He Just a Young Fu*ker”

Published 05/29/2022, 10:30 PM EDT
Credits: Andrew D. Bernstein/ Getty Images

It’s never monotonous to hear about another epic Michael Jordan moment that propelled him to the top of the heap. With his fervent competitive drive, he set out not only to annihilate his opponents but also to let them know about it.

Jordan, on a nightly basis, displayed his A-game in trash-talking in addition to his unrivaled brilliance on the basketball court. His desire to win was so intense that it’s probable he talked smack to get into his own head and put pressure on himself to excel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Other players, who were famous for their trash-talking like Jordan, hesitated before slinging smack at the Bulls legend. Rookie Kevin Garnett was one such player who understood early that Jordan wouldn’t be swayed by all that talk.

The “Big Ticket” debuted in the NBA in 1995, the same year Jordan returned from his first retirement. So his initial seasons in the league were spent witnessing Jordan dominate the basketball world. And in one of his earliest clashes with Jordan, Garnett trash-talked him and discovered why it didn’t pay to bother him.

DIVE DEEPER

NBA Legend, Who Has Faced Both Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, Makes Surprising Claim on the Greater Player

8 months ago

 

The Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves were embroiled in a close battle at the United Center in February 1996. Garnett was rarely on the receiving end of trash talk, but against Jordan, it backfired on his team.

What went down between Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett?

Garnett’s teammate, Isaiah Rider, was having a fantastic outing against the Bulls. Garnett decided that it was time to attempt and pump up his buddy as the ballgame entered the pivotal quarter. Unfortunately, Jordan overheard everything, and despite Rider’s plea, Garnett didn’t back down and kept delivering endless streams of smack.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The internet spliced together separate interviews of Garnett and Isaiah Rider, sharing the same account about this game against Jordan‘s Bulls.

Rider: So KG had never seen me play against Michael.

KG: We’re in Chicago. It’s my rookie year.

Rider: And I got about 24 going into the fourth quarter.

KG: JR is having a good game.

Rider: So I’m quiet, I always stayed quiet when I’m playing, I didn’t talk too much.

Rider: We come out in the fourth quarter and KG is like “Man, keeping going at his a**, serve him, he can’t guard you.”

KG: “Keep killing him, keep killing him, straight up, you’re having a good game.”

Rider: I was quiet, I’m looking at him like, just chill because Mike was literally right there.

KG: He’s right here. Mike can hear me. So I double down.

Rider: (impersonating KG) “I don’t care. Keep going at him.”

KG: As I say that, I feel it.

Rider: So Mike looks at me, looks at KG.

KG: Hands on hips, legs locked. And then he stares at me for about 15 seconds.

Rider: I was like, “Mike, he don’t know the rules of the game, he’s just a young fu*ker.”

KG: I see him and Mike have a conversation. “He don’t really know, he’s excited.”

Rider: Mike looked at him like OK. Looked at me like OK. I said, “What you lookin’ at me like that for?”

KG: I can’t even describe the next six, seven minutes of play, yo.

Rider: We went to the fourth quarter, that man got about 17 quick.

KG: We’re down 25 now, it was just at two.

Rider: He’s mad, looking at KG, looking at me, looking KG.

KG: It got bad quick.

KG: I’m like, “JR, my bad, dog. Sorry, man. I’m sorry.” He said, “It’s good man, I told you shut your a** up.”

KG: Mike came over like “Damn, young fella, damn, y’all done?” Never talked shit to Mike ever again in life.

It didn’t end well for Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett and company were obviously knocked to their knees. The Bulls won the game 120-99 after dominating in the final period. Jordan dominated the game with a game-high 35 points. He also grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 7 assists, and had 2 steals.

The Bulls only dropped 10 games that season, hence the matchup would have been expected to be won by Chicago. Garnett’s moves, though, ensured a massacre.

WATCH THIS STORY: Michael Jordan vs Jack Nicklaus net worth

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There was a wave of elite athletes who learned not to annoy Michael Jordan on the floor, thus this scenario is more frequent than one may assume. Garnett claims he learned not to rouse the monster again afterward; however, he would go on to become an unstoppable juggernaut in the NBA himself.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Ritvik Malhotra

353 articles

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK