Former NBA point guard Gary Payton has admitted he was “hot” over being laughed at by Michael Jordan in The Last Dance. The hit docuseries aired its final two episodes on Sunday night following an intriguing journey led by the man himself, featuring interviews from former teammates, opponents, and several others.
Payton was once such ex-foe, who claimed his defense took a toll on Jordan during the 1996 NBA Finals after George Karl assigned him to the erstwhile Chicago Bulls superstar. And, to his credit, the stats show he did affect MJ’s scoring.
Jordan, though, laughed hysterically when he was shown a clip of Payton making the claim and insisted he had “no problem with The Glove”.
Speaking on The Opinionated 7-Footers podcast, Payton said he nearly rang His Airness up to give him a piece of his mind but realized he would have probably behaved the same way if it were him.
“Oh you know I was hot! I was thinking about calling him at the time!” he declared. “But you know what, that’s what I expect out of Mike, because I would have said the same thing. I’m not going to admit to nothing, I’m not going to admit to someone that D’d me up. I will always tell you at any time in my career, nobody gave me problems but one person and that’s John Stockton to me. So you know that is just the way the game goes.
I’m not mad at Mike, because Mike didn’t have too many games that somebody D’d him up. He always was dominant but I think me and [Pistons point guard] Joe Dumars were a thorn in his side, I really do think that. And I’m glad he said that because I wouldn’t expect nothing else from him. I don’t expect nothing else from Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan, that’s why we talk about him, that’s why we see a 10-week, Last Dance on him, because that’s just the way it is.
He is the guy that we’re all talking about as the greatest basketball player that ever played and that’s fine and I don’t expect nothing less from him.”