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Dominique Wilkins Explains How Hard It Was To Face Michael Jordan: "You’re Playing Against A Killer Who Wants To Win At Any Cost. Mike Was A Killer. He Wanted To Take Your Heart."

Dominique Wilkins Explains How Hard It Was To Face Michael Jordan: "You’re Playing Against A Killer Who Wants To Win At Any Cost. Mike Was A Killer. He Wanted To Take Your Heart."

Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan were big rivals during their time in the NBA, starring in heated duels on the court, with MJ showing his offensive prowess against Wilkins' teams. 

Besides their rivalry, they were very good friends and always respected one another. Two of the greatest dunkers of all time had plenty of duels trying to shut down each other, and that was a big motivation for them both. 

Recently, the Atlanta Hawks legend talked about Jordan and how difficult it was to face the Chicago Bulls icon, as he was always trying to destroy rivals and impose his will on the floor. There is a big story of Jordan warning the Hawks before a big game, telling them to be ready since he would unleash his power. 

Via The Athletic:

The one player who Wilkins most enjoyed playing against was Jordan. Wilkins averaged nearly 30 points per game in 45 career games against Jordan on 48 percent shooting. On the night Jordan scored 61 points against the Hawks, Jordan went into Atlanta’s locker room before the game, tapped Randy Wittman’s leg and said, “Lace them up. It’s going to be a long fucking night,” Wilkins recalled.

“I’ve never seen anyone with balls like that,” Wilkins said of Jordan. “It’s the most amazing thing.”

What gets lost in that story is despite Jordan going off for 61 points, the Hawks won. In the final seconds, Wilkins drained a jumper over Jordan to give Atlanta a lead. The Bulls had a chance to tie or go ahead on the final possession, but Wilkins stopped Jordan on the other end.

“Last time I saw Mike I said, ‘Do you remember that happening?’ He goes, ‘I don’t recall it happening.’ I said, ‘Bullshit. Bullshit,'” Wilkins said, laughing. “Mike and I are good friends. We always respected each other. We lived to compete against each other. I played against a lot of great players, but one guy bought the most out of me, and that was playing against Michael. He’s going to bring it to you, and if you’re not ready to give it back, you already lost.

Even after all those taunts, Wilkins and Jordan have a good relationship, and Dominique credits that to the things they brought to the table and how competitive they both were. 

“It was entertainment at the highest level. You’re playing against a killer who wants to win at any cost. Mike was a killer. He wanted to take your heart, but I had the same mentality. I wanted to take the heart of whoever was guarding me.”

We are talking about two electrifying stars who left everything on the court to be successful. Of course, Jordan is one of the most honored players in NBA history, but 'Nique' also collected plenty of achievements during his days in the association. 

He's one of those people who couldn't win the championship because MJ stood in his way, making things hard for rivals. Well, Wilkins seems to be fine with that as he never backed down to a challenge. He still wants people to remember him as a scorer and somebody who did more than winning a Slam Dunk contest in a weekend