There are many stories about Michael Jordan displaying his competitiveness, yet we can't help but be amused at all the things His Airness did during his active days to prove he was better than anybody. MJ used to take things personally and destroyed rivals for the same reason, sometimes even making up stories to hold something against somebody.
Even before he made it to the NBA, Jordan constantly tried to find motivation in what people told him. Kenny Smith played with MJ in college, where he learned firsthand how intense things could be with the future six-time NBA champion.
During a recent interview on SHOWTIME's All the Smoke, the Houston Rockets legend talked about a variety of topics, including how a hypothetical Chicago Bulls-Houston Rockets Finals matchup would have ended. Besides saying that the Rockets would have smacked the Bulls, Smith also recalled his time with MJ, revealing that he was the first person he knew that could trash talk to people and back that up on the court (25:19):
“Every time we win and we go get water, I watch Mike, and he’s standing in the middle of center court. I walk up to him and, ‘What you doin?’ He’s like, ‘I want the mother*****rs to know that I’m never leaving the court. Imma be the first to stand here and the last.’"
"He was the first dude that I met that could back up his trash, like every day. Every day! Always the talker and always backed it up, though.”
MJ was always ready to fire back, and even when nobody was attacking him, he was the one initiating the hostility. He was a menace both on and off the court, and his rivals were well aware of that. Smith's anecdotes only confirm that MJ never backed down to anybody, and he used all those bad things to fuel his desire to win.
He even said that Jordan once remembered he didn't like his handles and got to work on them during the 1984 summer just to prove Smith wrong. There are many stories about the GOAT's greatness and we can't get enough of them.