There’s a select group of athletes who you never tire of hearing stories about their legendary trash talk. Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird come to mind. As does Steve Smith, Sr. But any time you can get some juicy details about Michael Jordan’s gift of gab, well, that’s truly a treat.
Fortunately, former Atlanta Hawks great and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins is here to quench our thirst. In a sit down with The Player’s Tribune, Wilkins reminisced about a number of legends he faced, including some great Larry Bird stories, but the one that stands out is about the time the Hawks traveled to Chicago for a regular season game against the Bulls in 1987. While the Hawks sat at their lockers, not even changed out of their suits, Michael Jordan strolled in.
“He walks by me, he walks by Kevin (Willis), and when he gets to Randy Wittman he said, ‘Lace ’em up, it’s going to be a long night,'” Wilkins said. “I didn’t know what to say. I was shocked. He had 60 that night.”
Jordan had 61 points that evening, to be exact, to go along with 10 rebounds and 4 steals. The Hawks still got the win, downing the Bulls 117-114 thanks to 34 points from Wilkins himself, but the gleam of Jordan’s pre-game prediction remains. Walking into an opponents locker room, telling them they’d better prepare themselves for that work, then giving said work, is a heck of a stunt.