Michael Jordan trash talked a lot of NBA legends over his career. But before he ever became a pro, Patrick Ewing once made him pay for it.
We’ve already told readers how Michael wanted to attend UCLA, but eventually committed to the Tar Heels’ program. He confirmed his decision at the start of his senior year in high school, visiting coach Dean Smith on campus.
But his sister had yet to choose her college, so Jordan went with her to Chapel Hill on another visit. This was when he scheduled a meetup with fellow competitor and All-American talent Patrick Ewing.
Ewing was very close to signing a letter of intent to play for Dean Smith and the University of North Carolina. However, while on his recruiting visit, he witnessed a nearby rally for the Ku Klux Klan, which dissuaded him.
How Patrick Ewing humbled Michael Jordan for some unwarranted trashtalk
In a recent interview with fellow Dream Team member Chris Mullin, Patrick Ewing narrated how his encounter with MJ went:
“Everyone who knows Michael knows he is the biggest trash talker. So this is my first time meeting him, and he’s talking so much trash to me. You know, like, ‘You can’t dunk on me, or blah, blah, blah.’”
“I’m in street clothes, he’s in his gym clothes. I’m like, OK. So I get the ball and I go up and I dunked on him. I said now you can shut the f**k up.”
Ewing and Jordan would go on to become very close friends, despite their long-standing rivalry. Jordan eventually got the better of the Knicks legend whenever they faced each other on the biggest stages.
MJ emerged victorious in the 1982 NCAA Final, before winning 4 playoff series against Ewing en route 6 NBA championships. The two also teamed up for two Olympic gold medals – 1984, and the Dream Team of 1992.