Gary Payton recently discussed Michael Jordan's comments on him in the Chicago Bulls' 10-part docu-series 'The Last Dance.' MJ and his Bulls faced the Seattle Supersonics of Payton and Shawn Kemp in 1996, beating them in six games.
In episode 8 of the award-winning documentary, The Glove recalled his tactics against His Airness. He said he tried to tire Jordan out, and he did it to some extent. However, that didn't prevent the Bulls from winning the NBA championship and record the greatest season of all time.
Michael even laughed at those comments, saying he had no issue when Payton guarded him.
“The Glove? I had no problems with the glove (Gary Payton).”
Gary recently joined The Colin Cowherd Podcast, where he talked about these comments. The Sonics legend said that he expected that reaction from Jordan. Otherwise, he would have lost respect for him. They are fierce competitors, and that's what you expect from one of the best players in NBA history (17:50).
“If he didn’t say that, I wouldn’t respect it, I wouldn’t respect him at all. I wouldn’t even look at him anymore because he’s a competitor like me. I looked forward to guarding him. He laughed. I would’ve laughed at the same thing because I don’t think he could guard me. So if he would’ve done that I would’ve been like, ‘Ha… please.’”
Payton said something similar back in March, admitting that it was impossible to see Michael saying he actually struggled to beat a rival. Well, Payton would have done the same if he was in Michael's position.
Nobody can take anything away from him, but there was no stopping for Jordan and the Chicago Bulls that year.