“I was Better than Michael Jordan for About 3 Weeks”: James Worthy Recalls Bulls Legend Talking Trash Since Their Days at North Carolina

Arjun Julka
|Published 16/12/2022

Michael Jordan was much more than just a shooting guard playing for the Chicago Bulls. A runaway success as soon as he stepped on the hardwood, His Airness took the NBA by storm. Earning the nickname ‘Black Jesus,’ MJ became a larger-than-life personality, with millions just wanting to catch a glimpse of him.

Air Jordan’s resume speaks for itself, boasting almost every accolade in the book. Another aspect that the Bulls guard found a lot of attention in was his trash-talking, something his peers and teammates would vouch for, not forgetting his competitive zeal, as well.

Whether it be a veteran or rookie, the 6ft 6″ guard was forever ready when it came to talking smack. Sharing a detailed insight into MJ’s trash-talking skill set was former North Carolina teammate and Lakers veteran James Worthy.

Also read: “Forget Michael Jordan, James Worthy was the REAL problem!” : Patrick Ewing wanted no part of Lakers legend while playing UNC during his time at Georgetown

During a recent appearance on The Knuckleheads podcast, Big Game James would hilariously narrate how despite being his senior, Jordan never went easy on him.

“Where you going young fella?”: James Worthy recollects instances of Michael Jordan’s 24×7 competitive nature.

Though they had a two-year differential when it came to being drafted into the NBA, both Jordan and Worthy played college basketball for the same team, the North Carolina Tar Heels, even winning the NCAA championship in 1982 and having their jerseys retired too.

Thus Worthy was well-versed with MJ’s trash-talking avatar, sharing his personal experiences during a conversation with Quintin Richardson and Darius Miles.

“Michael Jordan wasn’t arrogant, but man was he confident like he came in talking crap all the time. Like after college practice are over, you ready to get off the court back, so I would be walking off the court after about two and a half hours of practice, and here comes Michael, a freshman, you know bullying me, you know pushing me back, ‘Where you going young fella,’ calling me young fella, ‘Let’s play, let’s play a game of 5.'” 

Worthy Added, “Cause he always wanted to measure against the best, and at the time, I was the best. Recalling his statement from The Last Dance, the Lakers veteran said, ‘I was better than Michael Jordan for about 3 weeks.’ I mean he (MJ) hated to lose, but he was a winner, he hated to lose and was overly competitive, whether it was on the basketball court or dorm talking sh*t, it didn’t matter.”

(Time stamp: 17:35 seconds)

The former Lakers forward would hilariously recall His Airness getting competitive while playing backgammon and UNO.

1991 Finals meeting between Lakers and Bulls.

In what could be termed the passing of the torch, the duo Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would prevail over Magic Johnson and James Worthy, with the Bulls defeating the Lakers in 5-games.

At the time, Worthy struggled with a high ankle sprain, limiting him during the Finals. In what seemed like the end of the Showtime Lakers, paving the way for His Airness and the Bulls, who would reign over the NBA for close to a decade.

Also read: “Michael Jordan was easier to guard than Larry Bird!”: When James Worthy revealed why he would much rather face His Airness over the Celtics legend



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About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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