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Dikembe Mutombo Looked Forward To Playing Against Michael Jordan: "... You Can See The Excitement After What Is Going On With Me"

Dikembe Mutombo Reflects On First Game Against Michael Jordan: “I Was Like What Is This Guy Doing, What The Heck”

Michael Jordan got great pleasure from trying to embarrass players. While his primary focus was always getting the win, Jordan also got a kick from having fun at his opponent's expense.

This all stems from Jordan's unmatched desire to be the best player. Regardless of the occasion, the opponent, or the stakes, Jordan wanted to be the most dominant force on the court, and walk away with the victory.

Jordan had several encounters as a young player of this nature, with the likes of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson showing him what it takes to be the best of the best. And as he entered his own era of dominance, MJ became the standard-bearer of the league.

Jordan was the bar in the league, the measuring stick for all players. And NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo cherished the opportunities to play against him, looking forward to it even before reaching the NBA.

Mutombo also spoke about having one of his best games against MJ during the 1993 season. Dikembe put up 29 points and 22 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets defeat the reigning 2-time NBA champions.

But despite this, Jordan would bring the trash talk on every occasion. Mutombo couldn't do anything but laugh, because of how funny Jordan would be with the trash talking and antics. 

“Everybody was looking (forward) to play against Michael Jordan. That’s the reason why the day we played the Chicago Bulls (in 93), I think I had like my 29 points and then 22 rebounds because you can see the excitement after what’s going on with me, and we end up beating them which was great. I think those are the games that gave me a chance also to elevate myself as an All-Star… But Michael was as funny as he was always and pleasing his friends by closing his eyes and shooting free throws. I was like what is this guy doing, what the heck.”

'His Airness' is considered one of the most legendary trash talkers in the game. What made him one of the best is that Jordan could back up everything he said. And unlike his opponents, the trash-talking would never get to him.