Basketball was different in the 90s. Players also had a different mindset and up to this date, they still hold many grudges from that era. At the end of the day, every possession was a battle to the death so it's normal to see some guys dislike each other.
That's why Gary Payton was reportedly livid when he saw Michael Jordan laugh at him in 'The Last Dance' when Payton gave his input as to how he put the clamps on him in the NBA Finals.
The Glove talked to The Opinionated Podcast to talk about how he felt at the time, claiming that he was even going to call His Airness out of pure anger. In the end, nonetheless, he let it go as he knew it was just Michael being Michael:
“Oh you know I was hot! I was thinking about calling him at the time! But you know what, that’s what I expect out of Mike, because I would have said the same thing. I’m not going to admit to nothing, I’m not going to admit to someone that D’d me up. I will always tell you at any time in my career, nobody gave me problems but one person and that’s John Stockton to me. So you know that is just the way the game goes," Payton said.
Michael Jordan was one of the fiercest competitors - if not the relentless competitor - ever. He wasn't going to give anyone props for reportedly slowing him down just because he'd never admit that he was being contained, and Payton knows that:
“I’m not mad at Mike, because Mike didn’t have too many games that somebody D’d him up. He always was dominant but I think me and Joe Dumars were a thorn in his side, I really do think that. And I’m glad he said that because I wouldn’t expect nothing else from him. I don’t expect nothing else from Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan, that’s why we talk about him, that’s why we see a 10-week, Last Dance on him, because that’s just the way it is. He is the guy that we’re all talking about as the greatest basketball player that ever played and that’s fine and I don’t expect nothing less from him," the former Sonics point guard concluded.
Did Payton lock him up or not? Take a look at the footage and the stat sheet. That's not for us to decide. But if someone did a good job at least making MJ uncomfortable that was definitely Gary Payton.