Michael Jordan took it upon himself to take on Tim Legler and his hot shooting and told him, “That’s it for you,” while shutting him down.
Much has been said about Michael Jordan’s innate competitive spirit that does not need to be reiterated at every step of the way. There have been a bevy of anecdotes along the way that have helped members of the media and fans alike understand how gears within Jordan’s mind shifted when it came to competition.
Everything from dedicating himself to perfecting his table tennis craft to best one of his friends to trying to win a game of coin toss with the Chicago Bulls security guard before games; it’s safe to say that Michael Jordan did not take losing all too well. However, with stories like this up front and center stage, it’s easy to forget that Jordan’s competitive spirit was most alive when on the basketball court.
‘His Airness’ took pride in the fact that he was a model two-way superstar in the NBA. After all, he did win 10 scoring titles and was given the nod to an All-Defense team 9x in his career, cementing his legacy as a ‘do-it-all’ player on the hardwood.
Michael Jordan shut down Tim Legler with ease on the defensive end of the floor.
Despite being the best offensive player in the league, Jordan gave just as much effort on the defensive end of the floor. So, it’s no surprise that when a player on the opposing team got hot, Michael was the first on the scene to shut it all down.
While making an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, hot-handed shooter, Tim Legler, talked about a particular game in his career where he had hit a couple of 3s against the Chicago Bulls and had become a threat from beyond the arc. Michael Jordan took notice, of course, and decided to put the clamps on Legler while talking trash to him, at the same time.
“I remember after the 3nd or 3rd one, we’re running down the court and Michael is saying to me on the way down the court, ‘Well, that’s it for you. I’m not leaving you.’ It’s pretty much like the equivalent of the water company shutting your main off.”
Keep in mind that Tim Legler was a well above average shooter from distance, knocking down 52% of his 3s from 1994-96. For Michael Jordan to shut down a player who makes more than half of the 3s they shoot; it’s a testament to how badly he wanted to win regardless of the when the game was played.