Jim Jackson recalls the occasion when he was at loggerheads with Michael Jordan during the 1996-97 season because he was wearing Jordans.
Jim Jackson is one of the prototypical journeymen who played the role of a swingman in the league. He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 4th pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. After 4 seasons in Fort Worth, Jackson was traded to the New Jersey Nets.
Jackson stayed for less than half a season with the Nets, during which he had the encounter with MJ in question. Jackson then played for 10 different teams in the 9 seasons that followed.
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Jackson has been an announcer for TNT and Fox in the recent past. He’s the home broadcaster for most Clippers games, and he’s also calling this year’s March Madness tournament.
Jim Jackson narrates how he got on the wrong side of Michael Jordan
The Chicago Bulls faced off the Nets in late March to get revenge for their mid-month loss. They were successful in this attempt, emerging 11-101 victors in the game.
Jim Jackson played a lone hand for New Jersey, compiling 33 points on just 18 shots. He actually outscored Jordan on the night, so he felt entitled to a bit of a back and forth with the GOAT:
“He said, ‘JJ, you can’t guard me.’ I said, ‘You can’t guard me.’ So we start going at it, but after the game, [Nets center] Joe Kleine said, ‘Man, leave my young fella alone.’”
“Jordan said, ‘No, me and JJ cool, but tell him that’s why he’s wearing my shoes.’ I said, ‘Yep, and I’m not changing them,’” Jackson recalled.
Needless to say, Jackson continues to revere MJ whenever he gets the chance, behind the microphone. Jackson is one of the few players in the league to have played against Jordan, LeBron and Kobe, so he knows about greatness from up close and personal.