Michael Jordan was one of the most fierce trash talkers in NBA history. Jordan didn't care about the occasion, he always played at the highest level and tried to get under his opponent's skin.
Whether he was playing a Game 6 in the NBA Finals, or just playing a casual game of 5-on-5, Jordan would always talk trash, and that drive and motivation allowed him to become one of the greatest players of all time.
Former Detroit Pistons player John Salley had a lot of battles with Michael Jordan during the 80s, as the Pistons were Jordan's Achilles Heel, not being able to overcome them. So it must have been strange for Jordan when Salley signed with the Bulls in 1996 to play with him.
John Salley once shared a story of Michael Jordan casually walking into practice and changing the scrimmage team. He forced the former Pistons, Salley and Dennis Rodman, onto the opposite team.
Salley then shared the story of how Jordan stole the ball from his teammates and ran up the court for the team. Salley tried to block the shot, but he mistimed it, so he saw MJ's dunk up close.
Jordan then sarcastically told him to block that, and Salley went home and told his mother that he had just seen the greatest basketball player of all time.
“Michael acts like he’s leaving. Doubles back, has on his tennis sneakers, Vans with a Nike swish on them. ‘Nah nah nah, Phil I’m in this scrimmage. Put Ron Harper over there, its the Pistons vs the Cavs, and we have Randy Martin'. All of a sudden, Michael gets a steal, and I’m running back. I turn back, and I’m gonna block the shot. I’m about to jump, and all of a sudden, I mistime it. When I look up, Michael’s midsection is going by my head. He’s like ‘Block this, b*tch!’ and Pow. I went back home and told my mom that I just saw the greatest basketball player of all time… Ma, he did it in sneakers.”
Salley and MJ only played together for a brief period of time, winning the 1996 NBA championship together, and became friends. John Salley even once revealed that he used to try and get under Michael Jordan's skin by saying that Kobe Bryant was better than him.
But Salley also came to Michael Jordan's defense when Scottie Pippen called MJ selfish, noting that players of MJ's caliber have to be selfish in order to secure their legacies. Despite playing for a brief period of time, Salley clearly holds MJ in high regard.