Reggie Miller, a legendary NBA guard himself, has recalled a story of how he once played against Michael Jordan during his rookie year.
Miller came into the NBA in 1987, while Jordan in 1984.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Miller spoke on how his trash-talking, which he had since early age, once got him into trouble once he reached the NBA.
“I am not the biggest of guys,” Miller said. “I may be tall but when I came into the league, I was only 175-180 pounds, so I wasn’t the strongest or the biggest of all guys, and I needed to have an edge. My mouth was my edge.”
“When you’re getting beat by your sister (Cheryl Miller), you learn to talk,” Miller said. “Then it moved on to UCLA, and I started talking when I got into the league, but I’ve had a bad experience.”
That bad experience was playing against Michael Jordan, and talking trash along the way.
“I am in my rookie year, and it is Michael Jordan’s 3rd or 4th year in the league, and we’re playing in an exhibition game in some obscure place, and most veterans do not like to play in exhibition games,” said Miller, who played his whole career with the Indiana Pacers. “They want to get to the real thing. ”
“I’m a wide-eyed energetic rookie, we’re playing this exhibition game, and Michael’s going through the motion,” Miller recalled. “And Chuck Person, who’s on my team – he’s a trash talker as well – was like “Can you believe Michael Jordan, the guy everyone’s talking about, who’s supposed to be able to walk on water? You’re out here killing him, Reg.” This is in the first half. He’s like, ‘You should be talking to be talking to him.” I’m like, “You know what? You’re right.”
And Miller, in his own words, started going at Jordan with stuff like ‘Michael, who do you think you are? The great Michael Jordan? That’s right There’s a new kid on town.’
“He kind of looks at me and starts shaking his head,” Miller said. “So, at half, I have 10. And he has four points. I’m doing all this talking. It’s like, OK. At the end of the game, in the second half, he ended up with 44 and I ended up with 12. So, he outscored me, 40 to two (in the game’s second half).”
“As he’s walking off he’s like ‘Be sure and be careful that you never talk to Black Jesus like that,’ Miller said.
Despite that Miller said he never again trash-talked to Jordan, on numerous occasions the two great stars did smack heads while playing for the Pacers and Chicago Bulls respectively.
Reggie Miller was named to the All-NBA team 3 times, and participated in five NBA All-Star games. One of the deadliest 3-point shooters in history, Miller nailed 2560 three-pointers in his regular season career.
He appeared in 1389 NBA games (1304 started), averaging 18.2 ppg, 3 apg and 3 rpg in 34.3 minutes of action. Miller played his entire 18-season NBA career with Indiana Pacers.
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