5 best lines from The Players’ Tribune’s The Legend of Michael Jordan

The Players’ Tribune culled their archives for the best Michael Jordan stories from their years of athlete interviews. Here are a few of the best lines.

The Players Tribune has spent years interviewing athletes and even if he wasn’t the focus, Michael Jordan’s name had a way of coming up. With The Last Dance dominating the basketball conversation right now, The Players Tribune has gone through their archives and collected the best Jordan stories and anecdotes, working them together into one massive, must-see project.

It’s absolutely worth checking out but if you need another hook, here are a few of the best lines you’ll see in the project.

“This is the real s*** right here. Welcome to the NBA, little fella.”

This story from Gary Payton, about Michael Jordan destroying him the first time they played, is from a 2017 piece at The Players’ Tribune and has been aggregated a lot lately from a video clip of Payton telling the story at a panel discussion for The Knuckleheads podcast. Payton poked the bear with some trash talk during the preseason and then Jordan showed him how it was actually done, hanging 33 on the rookie when they met in the regular season. After the game, Jordan delivered the line above, formally welcome Payton to the league.

“Lace ’em up, it’s gonna be a long night.”

Jordan’s trash-talk was legendary, especially because he made a point of backing it up, every damn word. The quote above is what he told Dominique Wilkins and the Hawks after coming into their locker room before a game. Jordan then went out and scored 60.

“I don’t know what came across me. I grabbed him from behind, and I just pulled him out of the air. I still have some pride, right? I’m like, ‘I can’t let you dunk in front of me.’”

This one is not John Salley or Rick Mahorn, executing The Jordan Rules in some grudge match with the Bad Boy Pistons. This one comes from Sheryl Swoopes, who basically tackled Jordan to try and keep him from winning a 1-on-1 game in front of kids at one of his basketball camps. When you play your hero, you have to show up, right?

“It was impossible to take a bad photograph of Michael Jordan.”

This comes from legendary photographer Walter Iooss Jr. and truer words have never been spoken. If for no other reason, check out The Players’ Tribune piece just to marvel at all the iconic images.

“And I said, ‘Momma, it’s so crazy. Michael Jordan was out here cussin’. He talks just like us!”

This is Darius Miles, telling his mom about meeting and playing against Jordan as a high-schooler at one of his camps. More than anything else, Michael Jordan was a basketball player, and seeing that the myth was a man as well seems to have been incredibly inspiring to so many young players.

Make sure to check out the entire project at The Players’ Tribune for more incredible stories and eye-popping quotes.

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