Former Magic Star Ranks Michael Jordan Above Reggie Miller as Hardest Player to Defend While Smack-Talking

Published 10/11/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Basketball player Michael Jordan clenches his fist while sitting on the bench during a game at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. (Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)


Former NBA All-Star Reggie Miller is one of the most lethal talkers on the court. While dropping those shots from beyond the arc, Miller always found his sweet spot in trash-talking his defender. Nonetheless, the championship GOAT, Michael Jordan has his own style of intimidating his opponents.

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Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan played through the same era of the league. While Miller was known for his accurate 3-point shooting, Jordan was ruling the game of basketball.

The two iconic players have had their share of banter during big time matchups. Commonly known for the competitive spirit, Jordan and Miller smack-talked their defenders while cooking on the offense. Their most memorable duel during the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals turned out to be a big-mouthed banter. Both stars made sure they were audible to each other while they powered through the game.

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Michael Jordan can beat his defenders in multiple ways

Reggie is one of the first players that comes to mind when reminded of smack-talking incidents. But, the Bulls superstar blazed bullets during conversations to break down the defender mentally.

Former Orlando Magic star Nick Anderson has played against both men. And he believes that Michael Jordan is the hardest to defend while smack-talking, surpassing Miller’s antics. Anderson told Scoop B during a chat – “Mike could beat you in multiple ways. Post up, mid-range game, knocking down a three.” He further mentioned, “You didn’t want none of that smoke!”

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When Nick Anderson made a salty comment regarding MJ back in 1995

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Orlando’s Nick Anderson has a history with Michael Jordan on the other side of the court. During the 1994-95 season, they locked horns in a second-round playoff matchup, Magic vs Bulls.

Prior to the season, MJ was returning from his stint in baseball after his first retirement from the league. After the matchup between Jordan and Anderson, the latter remarked“He didn’t look like the old Michael Jordan,” and that became a controversial statement altogether, while the legend was making a comeback.

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Jordan, who won six NBA championships, was a terrific competitor. His winning mentality translated in his matchups and making some comments here and there was only directed towards breaking the defender.

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Pavni Ahuja

533 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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