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“Don’t F**king Talk to Michael Jordan”: Xavier McDaniel Harped on MJ Faking Camaraderie With His Knicks to Eliminate Their Edge

Trikansh Kher

"Don't F**king Talk to Michael Jordan": Xavier McDaniel Harped on MJ Faking Camaraderie With His Knicks to Eliminate Their Edge

Michael Jordan might be one of the greatest trash talkers to ever grace the NBA hardwood. But MJ’s trash talk was just a small part of a much bigger mental game that he played with his opponents. Years later, Jordan would get called out by his peers for his mental games, especially by Knicks legend, Xavier McDaniel.

According to Xavier, he had special rules for his young players, telling the media,

“I used to tell the guys, especially young guys, this is what Michael wants to do. He will sit there and talk to you, saying you are having a great year, shaking your hand, keep up the good work, and then he torches you for 48. When he is ready to come up to you and we in New York, we tell you don’t f***ing talk to Michael Jordan; he is not your friend.”

McDaniel’s feelings towards Jordan are quite understandable. The Knicks and the Bulls often battled it out for a spot to represent the East, as both teams dominated in the conference during the 90’s. Though Jordan often got the edge over the Knicks, the battles were often close. The 1992 Eastern Conference Finals was one such example, as the Bulls were pushed to a 7-game series.

This feud between Jordan and the Knicks would continue, as the Knicks would meet the Bulls on five different occasions during their 80-90 playoff runs. Unfortunately for the Knicks, Jordan would establish his dominance, accumulating an impressive 71% win percentage against the Knicks (43-17).

The time when Van Gundy called MJ a “Con Man”

It’s no surprise that the Knicks hated Jordan. Not their fans, but more so their players and the coaches, yes coaches. Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy once called out Jordan for his “shady tactics”. The clip, which originated 27 years ago, has once again been posted by Ballislife on Twitter. In the clip, while talking to the media, Coach Van Gundy revealed,

“You watch him game in and game out … saddles up next to guys, pats them on the a** … then goes out and kicks their a** … and they hug him after the game … like that was some great thing that he got 45 on them … I don’t understand it.”

These comments from Van Gundy didn’t age too well, as Jordan would proceed to drop 51 points on the Knicks during their next meeting in Jan 1997. After the game, Bulls head coach Phil Jackson chose to comment on Van Gundy’s prior comments about his star player, telling the media,

“It was probably a tactical mistake to attack Michael”

Years later, Jordan would comment on Gundy’s comments against him, and to no one’s surprise, MJ took the comments from Van Gundy “personally”.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher is a writer at The Sports Rush. A lawyer by education, Trikansh has always been around sports. As a young track athlete Trikansh was introduced to basketball through 'street ball' mixtapes. He was hooked and it has been 'ball is life' ever since. Trikansh is a designer by profession, but couldn't keep away from basketball. A regular on the blacktop, his love for the game goes further than just hooping. If Trikansh isn't going through box scores for last night's game, you can find him in his studio working on his designs or playing squash at the local club.

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