There is no shortage of stories about Michael Jordan’s fierce competitiveness and his ability to raise his game at any moment.
On Thursday, NBA legend Magic Johnson added to the album on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” recalling the time he trash-talked Michael Jordan during a “Dream Team” Olympic squad scrimmage in 1992.
Johnson recalled that during a scrimmage, his team was beating Jordan’s 12-2. Then, in what Magic says is the first and only time he ever trash-talked, he told Jordan, “If you don’t turn into Air Jordan, we’re going to blow you out today.”
Johnson said Jordan’s eyes got wide, and that’s when Jordan turned it on, hitting consecutive three-pointers and staring Johnson down after each one.
“He came down on the right side, took off,” Johnson began. “David Robinson took off. And [Jordan] said, ‘OK, I’m going to sit here in the air because I know David Robinson is going to go down.’ So, David Robinson went to the ground, [Jordan] 360’d, tongue moving, and dunked it. 360 in a practice game!”
Johnson said everyone on the court was stunned, then reenacted the move.
Though it’s unclear if it’s the same exact game, Jordan recalled on the 2012 NBA TV documentary “The Dream Team” that one particular scrimmage was the “the best game I’ve ever played in,” citing the competitiveness of 10 Hall of Fame players going up against each other. Johnson said in the documentary that after that game, Jordan walked into a room and told him and Larry Bird that there’s “a new sheriff in town.”
Johnson concluded on Kimmel’ show, “Michael Jordan is so incredible — there will never be another.”
Watch Johnson’s full story below:
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