In an alternate reality, Reggie Miller has a ring, maybe two and an impeccable legacy. In this reality, he was born at the wrong time and had the misfortune of playing at the same time as Michael Jordan. As such, Reggie finished his career ringless like many other stars of the ’90s because of Jordan’s dominance.
Reggie’s sparring with Mike was legendary, even if it was one-sided in the win column. When he sat down with Jimmy Kimmel, he told the story of the time he trash-talked MJ during his rookie year.
Now, because this is Michael-freaking-Jordan, you can guess how this went down. But Reggie was a rookie, and when you’re that young, you’re prone to do something dumb every now and then. This was definitely an example of that.
Starting at about 1:25 of the video below, Reggie tells the story of his “bad experience” in the NBA.
My rookie year, we were playing the Chicago Bulls, and this is Michael Jordan’s third or fourth year in. We’re playing an exhibition game in some obscure place. Most veterans do not like to play in exhibition games. They want to get to the real thing. I’m a wide-eyed, energetic rookie, and we’re playing this exhibition game, and Michael is going through the motions. Chuck Person, who’s on my team and is 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 him.”
I was like, “You know what? You’re right. Michael, who do you think you are? The great Michael Jordan? That’s right, there’s a new kid in town.”
He kind of looks at me and starts shaking his head. So, at half, I have 10 (points), and he has four points, right? I’m doing all this talking, he’s like, “Okay.”
End of the game, in the second half, he ended up with 44, and I end up with 12.
So, he outscored me 40 to two. And as he’s walking off he’s like, “Be sure, and be careful that you never talk to Black Jesus like that. Okay?”
Okay. I’m so sorry, Black Jesus. I’m so sorry.
(Did you ever do it again?)
Never to Michael Jordan.
Smart decision, Reggie.
He also told the story of losing a bet to Spike Lee and having to visit Mike Tyson in prison as his debt. That’s one hell of a debt to pay, and things did not go as Reggie imagined.
Check out the full video below.