Michael Jordan's love of trash talk is well known, and it turns out it was not confined to the NBA court, as an actor and former college player found out.
Keith Gibbs has appeared in an astounding number of basketball movies, including The Air Up There and Blue Chips, and was invited by Space Jam's director to play with Jordan on the set, Gibbs told Grantland.
The on-set pickup games turned into a who's who of basketball, with Gibbs as the odd man out, of which Jordan took advantage.
"I walk in, and it’s Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Alonzo Mourning, Charles Oakley. Grant Hill shows up. Jerry Stackhouse shows up. Now, all of a sudden it’s an NBA All-Star pickup game. Every night. I did that for about a month and a half, two months. Then the UCLA kids came in, and they had just won a national title — Ed O’Bannon and those guys. Just phenomenal. Best pickup games I’ve ever been a part of. It was unreal.
Yeah, so Jordan … I had to guard Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan in back-to-back games. It was so bad. I was friends with Chris Mills and Tracy Murray—we had been to some camps together. One play, I got switched onto Jordan, because Chris was like, “Keith, you take him.” Jordan hit a 35-footer on me. I mean, it was ridiculous: leg out, tongue out, all that stuff … hit a 35-footer on me and goes, “GET THE F--- OFF THE COURT.”
Michael Jordan annihilating a former college player in a pickup game on the set of a children's movie is possibly the best Jordan story yet.
Be sure to read Gibbs full Q&A with Grantland for stories about playing with Kevin Bacon, Shaq and Billy Crystal.
- Brendan Maloy