Michael Jordan Gets Shortest Player Honor by Pistons Legend in Wholesome Run Down Memory Lane

Published 01/31/2024, 6:00 AM EST

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6-0. The number that is both a blessing and a curse. While it did symbolize the career of the greatest basketball player of all time, it also takes away from some of his other historic feats. Because Michael Jordan was more than just one Finals statistic. Among the litany of awards and accolades that he does hold, one was given to him by a key rival on the Detroit Pistons.

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Before he went into the business of collecting rings, Jordan was a one-of-a-kind athlete and player. Transcendent with his playstyle, His Airness made a habit of soaring through the skies. Whether it be jelly finishes or thunderous dunks, he earned the nickname Air Jordan. 

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During that time, his chief rivals were the Pistons who invented a specific rule set to take him down. But, for John Salley, those were old times and he’s willing to give credit where it’s due now. During an appearance on VladTV, the legend was asked a simple question.

Who was the shortest player that’s ever dunked on you?” The answer was obvious. However, there were a few other names that gave the man fright on their way to the rim. “Byron Scott would scare me if he was going to the basket cause he was going to try to destroy you…But the only one that really got me was MJ.”

Jordan’s tenacity and panache for the spectacular gave him the edge to dunk on Salley. That, too, despite the Jordan rules that the team had in place for him.

Michael Jordan conquered the Jordan Rules

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While John Salley is willing to give the Chicago Bulls legend his props now, the time playing against him was a different ballgame altogether. The most surprising part about Mike hitting a dunk on the Center is the path he would have to traverse.

During that time, Detroit had a specific game plan for the 6x NBA Champion. The plan that came to be known as the Jordan Rules was the best Tony Stark impression on an NBA court: Attack. Salley himself recounts the details, “As soon as he steps in the paint, hit him.” 

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Dennis Rodman, who would later go on to play with Michael in Chicago coined the term. “This is the Jordan rules – every time he goes to the f**king basket, put him on the ground. When he comes to the basket, he ain’t gonna dunk. We’re gonna hit you and you’ll be on the ground. We’re trying to physically hurt Michael.” 

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Thankfully, the two sides have moved past their differences, except when it comes to Isiah Thomas. But, that’s a bridge for another day.

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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