As a child, one of Michael Jordan's idols was the same as a lot of kids of his generation, Dr. J, Julius Erving. Erving was a pioneer in terms of in-game dunking and arguably the first true NBA superstar in terms of being a celebrity and using his status to get endorsement deals and other commercial benefits thanks to his game.
Dr. J had children all over America wanting to dunk like him through the 70s, and he would eventually compete with quite a few of the greats that would follow him. Players like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ended up competing with Erving for the biggest prize of them all, the NBA championship.
In his early years with the Bulls, of course, MJ wasn't quite yet a contender in that conversation, but he still wasn't one to back down, even from his legendary idol. Jordan and Dr. J faced one another 4 times in MJ's rookie season, with Erving previously addressing what that was like, and by the 4th time, Michael was talking trash to Erving just like he would to several other players.
(starts at 3:54 minutes):
“I remember he came down, and he dunked on like the whole team. And then I went down and dunked on his team. And whatever, I was looking at him and he was looking at me and he was like ‘I can do it again you know!’”
In his first two meetings against Erving and his 76ers, MJ averaged just 15 points but he would drop 31 in his 3rd game against them and a whopping 40-piece in the game this particular anecdote is from.
Jordan and Dr. J will go down in history as two of the most iconic and entertaining players to have played the game. However, what makes MJ the GOAT is apparent in this story. If all it took him was 3 games to start talking trash to his idol and one of basketball's greatest and backing it up, it's not hard to see how he became a 6-time champion by the end of his career.