‘Dirty M**f**’: Former NBA Champion Reveals What it Takes to Match Up With Michael Jordan

Published 03/30/2021, 10:37 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS – MAY 05: Hall of fame NBA player Michael Jordan looks on during the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya during their WBC super welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 5, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather defeated De La Hoya by split decision. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


When Michael Jordan was part of the NBA and the Chicago Bulls dynasty began, other teams craved winning a championship. Without a doubt, as long as he was playing, no other team had a shot at winning a title. However, there was one man who often got under Jordan’s skin. It was the man who was nicknamed “Mad Max” and played for the Houston Rockets. Yes, that’s right! It was Vernon Maxwell.

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Maxwell was best recognized because of his fiery demeanor on the court. And one can just imagine how much the intensity was turned up when he matched with the greatest of all time. Maxwell was an integral shooting guard for the Rockets. Houston was a team that went 5-1 against the Bulls during their first three championships. However, Chicago Bulls were still unmatched until Jordan retired for the first time.

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Maxwell was central to the Rockets’ run to the franchise’s first championship in 1993-94. So, what was their thought process during the time Jordan was out and they had an opening for a championship run. Maxwell explained on ‘The Ringer’, “MJ or no MJ, it was our time. But in the back of our minds, I knew. We were like,’ Damn! okay, Mike ain’t playing s***’.”

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What it was like playing against Michael Jordan?

In the interview, Maxwell was also asked what it was like playing against Jordan. He had a very crude response to it. He stated, “When you play against that m*****f*****, you got to be a little different. You can’t go in that m*****f***** game passive. He can sense if you’re scared.”

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“He is a killer out there, man, and is a dirty m*****f*****. You have to be a dog, you have to have that grit, that dirty shit, and all that,” he concluded. It is no surprise that Maxwell feels this way. Jordan has the ability to evoke such feelings because everyone knows how competitive he is.

Unfortunately, by the time Jordan came back from his retirement and got to face the Rockets, Maxwell had moved on. He was then a part of the Philadelphia 76ers. So, their battles from 1991 to 1993 are the only evidence of their showdown with one another.

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Read also- Magic Johnson Revealed the Exact Moment He Knew the Michael Jordan Era Had Commenced

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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