As one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players, Michael Jordan was a Hall-of-Fame trash talker.
Just ask Gary Payton. When he was a rookie with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1990, Payton was outplaying B.J. Armstrong while Jordan mostly sat on the bench.
“I’m talking crazy,” Payton wrote on ThePlayersTribune.com. “I’m talking $#!% to BJ. I am running by the bench saying $#!% to MJ.”
Two weeks later, during a regular-season game, Jordan scores 33 and Payton is benched with foul trouble.
Jordan “Looks right at me,” Payton said. “That $#!% you talking in preseason? This is the real $#!% right here. Welcome to the NBA, little fella.”
Now, as co-owner of 23XI Racing, Jordan should work on his motivational speaking.
His driving, too.
NASCAR Driver Tyler Reddick Needs More Motivation
Before the season-opening Daytona 500, Jordan attempted to climb in Reddick’s head, attempting to light a fire under his first-year employee. Reddick, who was signed away from Richard Childress Racing, has averaged a 24th-place finish in eight starts at Daytona International Speedway since 2019.
Jordan studied the scouting report.
“Air” attempted to motivate with a bit of old-school trash talk. Reddick rehashed the Daytona 500 pre-race story during an appearance on Dale Jr. Download: “Even before Daytona, he was busting me pretty good about, ‘Yeah, your speedway finishes haven’t been too good. I’m not expecting a lot on Sunday.’
“That got me fired up. I was extra motivated.”
Until Kevin Harvick’s machine took him out on Lap 117, resulting in a 39th-place finish.
The next week, he placed 34th. Then 15th, before finally turning in a P3 last Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.
MJ could always talk. As an owner, can he inspire?
Michael Jordan attempted to drive a NASCAR Cup Series machine https://t.co/KJ40x1VDU8
— Racing News (@RacingNewsCo) March 11, 2023
Michael Jordan ‘Started Feeling Queasy So He Had To Quit’
Before the 2021 season, Jordan, then NASCAR’s newest Cup team owner, boasted he could handle a stock car.
Just forget about the Daytona track, the North Carolina native told 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin, who enjoyed retelling the tale on the Actions Detrimental podcast.
“He said, ‘I don’t want Daytona, you just hold it wide open,” Hamlin said. “That’s too easy. What’s the next step?’ ”
That would be Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hamlin determined.
On the team’s simulator, Jordan climbed into a redesigned cockpit to fit his 6-foot-6 frame and fired up the digital racer.
Fifteen minutes later. Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 champion, recalled, “He was sweating profusely. He says, ‘I’m done.’
“He started feeling queasy so he had to quit.”
Be like Mike?
Well, maybe not on a motivational speaking circuit or in a NASCAR sim.
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