Many of the youngsters today could learn less about respecting their elders after this perfect example. Despite an off night in the 1995-1996 season, you never poke the bear. A 24-year-old Darrick Martin let the moment get into his head and he made a grave mistake.
The then-Vancouver Grizzlies, who moved to Memphis in 2001, had lost 12 games in a row with Jordan and the Bulls visiting the town. Despite the mismatch, the Grizzlies were in a position to pull away with a win.
After three quarters, Vancouver held a 64-62 lead. They started the fourth quarter with a strong performance, leading by eight points with 8:42 left in the game. After a three-pointer from Martin, he decided that was a good time to run his mouth, teasing none other than Michael Jordan.
“So Darrick decides because there are about 10 minutes to go in the game and we’re winning,” former Grizzlies forward Antonio Harvey recalled. “He decides to say to Michael Jordan, who’s having an off-night, ‘Hey Mike! S**t’s not falling tonight, Mike! You’re having an off-night, Mike!'”
Martin was just in his second season in the league and he couldn’t have made a bigger mistake. Jordan would come off the bench to score 19 of his 29 points in the last nine minutes of the fourth quarter. It took just four minutes for the Bulls to tie the game and eventually pull away for a 94-88 win.
After hitting the final jump shot to seal the game, Jordan looked for Martin on the bench and told him, “shut up, you little b***h.”
Years later, Martin talked about that game and how he shouldn’t have talked trash to Jordan. It even prompted a fight between Bryon Scott and Martin. After the game, Scott confronted Martin about not talking to the players that his teammates guarded.
By the end of the year, the Bulls set an NBA record for wins in a season with a 72-10 record, becoming the greatest team of all time. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies finished 15-67, including a 19-game losing streak at one point in the season.
Learn from history’s mistakes, kids. Do not mess with Jordan, unless you want to see him taking things personally and destroy you.