Former Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton was more forgiving.
In the documentary, Payton described how his defense bothered Jordan during the 1996 NBA Finals – a clip played for Jordan to react. Jordan laughed and replied derisively: “The Glove. I had no problem with The Glove.”
— ESPN (@espn) May 11, 2020
Payton on “The Opinionated 7-Footers:”
You know I was hot. I was thinking about calling him at the time. I’d be like, “Yo, OK, now you want to hindsight and lie in front of everybody? Alright. It’s all good,” I’d say.
But you know what, that’s what I expect out of Mike. Because I would’ve said the same thing. I would’ve said the same thing. You know me, B. I’m not going to admit to nothing, man. I’m not going admit to somebody that D’d me up or did nothing. I’ll always tell you that any time in my career, nobody gave me problems but one person, and that’s John Stockton to me. So, that is just the way the game goes.
I’m not mad at Mike, because Mike didn’t have too many games that nobody D’d him up. He always was dominant.
I’m glad he said that, because I wouldn’t expect nothing else from him. I wouldn’t expect nothing else from Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan. That’s why we’re talking about it.
I love this answer!
Payton and Jordan were great trash talkers. Jordan isn’t required to provide an accurate assessment of Payton’s defense. Jordan was just trying to hype up Jordan and diss a rival. Payton understands the game. He doesn’t need to turn it into something bigger.
He’ll just dish it right back with a line about John Stockton being harder to guard than Jordan.