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#pounditMonday, January 18, 2021

Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen confronted Michael Jordan about ‘The Last Dance’

Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen has admitted he wasn’t in love with his portrayal in “The Last Dance” documentary — and when he confronted Michael Jordan about it, he got precisely the response you might expect.

Pippen told Andrew Anthony of The Guardian that he wasn’t pleased with his portrayal in the documentary, and added that he felt it was too much about Jordan trying to glorify himself.

“I don’t think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players — and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time,” Pippen said. “I didn’t think those things stood out in the documentary. I thought it was more about Michael trying to uplift himself and to be glorified.”

When asked if Pippen had brought those complaints to Jordan, the former Bull said he had — and the response was pretty funny.

“Yeah. I told him I wasn’t too pleased with it,” Pippen said. “He accepted it. He said, ‘hey, you’re right’. That was pretty much it.”

“The Last Dance” was a ratings bonanza for ESPN earlier this year, and sparked new discussions about the 1990s Bulls teams. It also sparked a lot of speculation about how Pippen felt, given that Jordan had the final say over what appeared in the film and Pippen was portrayed negatively at multiple points.

It was suggested at one point that Pippen had extremely strong feelings over his portrayal. He seems more relaxed here, but it’s certainly clear that he wasn’t thrilled.

Kevin Durant has great response to fan who compares him to Michael Jordan

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant wants the youngbloods on Twitter to put some respeck on the name of His Airness.

The Brooklyn Nets star responded to a fan this week who compared him to Michael Jordan. Reacting to a “First Take” debate about Jordan vs. Durant for their scoring abilities, the fan clowned the “old heads” who thought Jordan was better. The fan cited Durant’s tall frame and ball-handling ability as a three-level scorer with elite shooting percentages.

“MJ is one of one,” Durant soon replied. “God level, unmatched, unparalled, a pure master at this s—. I’m still watching his games to learn. Leave me out of it please.”

Comparing greats across generations in any sport is always difficult because the game’s best have a tendency to get bigger and more skilled as the years go by. That’s just evolution. Jordan also did not have many of the modern resources that Durant now enjoys, included basketball’s increased shift towards the three-point shot.

While Durant is likely the best pure scorer of this generation, his response to the fan is very on-brand. The four-time scoring champion once said that he is not really motivated by trying to be basketball’s GOAT.

LaVar Ball says he will play Michael Jordan 1-on-1 under this condition

LaVar Ball

LaVar Ball became known for making ridiculous claims, including one about how he would take Michael Jordan 1-on-1.

Yes, back in 2017, Ball said he would beat MJ under any circumstance. The absurd claim led to multiple jokes at Ball’s expense. Even His Airness ended up responding.

Fast forward three years, and Ball’s son, LaMelo, was drafted No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Jordan. That led to some renewed questions about whether LaVar and Jordan would play. LaMelo offered his response to that question.

LaVar was asked during a turkey giveaway about the possibility of facing Jordan. He told TMZ Sports he would do it under one very expensive condition.

“You’re going to see me and Mike play for the small price of $200 million on pay-per-view. If it’s a dollar short, we’re not playing,” Ball said. “Whenever they come with $200 million, I’ll be ready to put my shoes back on and give you one more game.”

LaVar said he hadn’t talked with Jordan about the game, but that was his price. However, he did concede such a game was very unlikely to happen.

“Realistically, neither one of us is going to do this. We over 50!” Ball said.

At least Ball made that acknowledgement. But if he is willing to face Jordan on pay-per-view, MJ might be willing to serve him the way he once did OJ Mayo in this legendary video.

We’d love to see it, and so would many other fans. We should make this happen!

LaMelo Ball has funny response to idea of LaVar-Michael Jordan 1-on-1

LaMelo Ball

After years of LaVar Ball calling out Michael Jordan, his son LaMelo now ironically plays for the team Jordan owns, forcing LaMelo to be diplomatic.

The 19-year-old star had his introductory press conference on Friday after being selected by Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. LaMelo was asked about the possibility of the much-awaited LaVar-Jordan 1-on-1 coming to fruition.

“I don’t think it’s gonna happen,” said LaMelo. “And I think we know how it would turn out to be honest. I don’t really know too much. But I mean, that is my pops and my boss. So I’m on both sides now, you feel me?”

LaVar rose to prominence for his outlandish boasts, perhaps most notably that he could beat Jordan 1-on-1. He even got Jordan to respond to him.

As for LaMelo, he was also once roped into his father’s claims about Jordan. Now that LaMelo plays for Jordan’s team though, it’s a much more delicate balancing act (even if he sounds convinced Jordan would win pretty easily).

Anthony Edwards reveals advice he got from Michael Jordan

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards is about to enter the National Basketball Association with some quality tips from the greatest to ever play in it.

Before Wednesday’s NBA Draft, Edwards told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks about the advice he received from none other than Michael Jordan.

“It was mostly just, ‘Use your butt more in the post, in the mid-post,'” said Edwards. “I feel like that was the best thing he told me. He was like, ‘You’re stronger than I am. You’re more athletic. You’re bigger than me. Use your butt more and create more space and you’re gonna be unguardable.'”

The 19-year-old Edwards, a wing player, is officially listed at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, attended Edwards’ workouts in person. The Hornets hold the No. 3 overall pick.

His Airness may have his eye on a different top prospect in this year’s class, but he certainly sees something special in Edwards regardless.

Report: Michael Jordan has given LaMelo Ball ‘stamp of approval’

Michael Jordan

There appears to be increasing reason to think the Charlotte Hornets may be zeroing in on LaMelo Ball ahead of Wednesday’s NBA Draft.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor in his latest mock draft, Hornets owner Michael Jordan has given the front office his “stamp of approval” to allow them to select Ball. It remains possible that the Hornets may move up to No. 1 to select James Wiseman, but Ball is clearly in play at No. 3.

Obviously, Jordan’s approval is big for a lot of reasons. He’s not just the owner, but he’s also an icon. It’s a big endorsement for Ball.

There’s a bit of history between Jordan and Ball’s father. That said, Jordan is smart enough to not let something like that dissuade him from picking Ball if he really believes doing so would change the course of the franchise.

Michael Jordan wants to draft LaMelo Ball?

Michael Jordan

LaMelo Ball may have one heck of a believer ahead of this week’s NBA Draft.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported Tuesday that there are people within the Charlotte Hornets front office, possibly even owner Michael Jordan himself, who want Ball. The Hornets hold the No. 3 overall pick.

The 19-year-old Ball, a 6-foot-7 point guard, is probably the best-known prospect of the entire 2020 draft class. That said, Charlotte’s two leading scorers last season were a pair of point guards in Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier. But they would still be hard-pressed to pass on Ball if he is available when they are on the clock.

There is no guarantee of that though, as Ball could fit well in Minnesota or Golden State, the two teams with the picks ahead of the Hornets. But Jordan’s supposed interest in Ball is certainly something, especially considering his past beef with Ball’s father.

Isiah Thomas did not realize how much Michael Jordan disliked him

Isiah Thomas

Michael Jordan made it clear when he was interviewed for “The Last Dance” documentary series that he still hates Isiah Thomas. While it was well known that there was no love lost between the two, many were surprised to learn that Jordan has not gotten over the feud and probably never will. That was news to Thomas, too.

Thomas discussed his 1992 Olympic snub during an appearance on “Club Shay Shay” with Shannon Sharpe. He said he was surprised to learn Jordan dislikes him so much and doesn’t really understand why.

“I never had no bad words with him or anything like that,” Thomas said. “We played. His team won and my team won. We went home and they went home.”

Thomas, of course, is conveniently ignoring the main reason Jordan doesn’t like him or the rest of the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons. Jordan felt they showed poor sportsmanship by walking off without shaking hands after the Chicago Bulls beat them in the playoffs in 1991. M.J. spoke about that during “The Last Dance” and confirmed it is why he has so much hostility toward Thomas and that team.

Thomas said the only player he knew personally on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team was Magic Johnson. The Hall of Fame guard also mentioned how he wasn’t looking to make any friends and believed Jordan was the only person who had a problem with him being on the team.

Jordan may have been the driving force behind Thomas being snubbed, but he wasn’t the only reason. Scottie Pippen openly said years ago that he didn’t want Thomas on the Dream Team. An audio recording of Jordan talking about the situation (listen to it here) also indicated Charles Barkley wanted Thomas left off the Olympic roster.

Thomas has tried to explain why the Pistons refused to shake hands with the Bulls, but Jordan’s opinion on that is never going to change. The same can likely be said about his opinion of Thomas, no matter how surprised Thomas claims to be.

H/T Dime

Michael Jordan does not think he could have survived Twitter era

Michael Jordan

Today’s athletes play in a very different media environment than their predecessors did. The proliferation of social media means that star athletes are under the microscope at all times in a way that even the most famous athletes of previous eras weren’t.

Michael Jordan, for one, has taken notice. And he thinks that things would have been a lot harder for him had he played in the social media era.

“Tiger [Woods] played at his peak somewhere toward the end of my career. Then, what changed from that time-frame to now is social media — Twitter and all those types of things. And that has invaded the personalities and personal time of individuals,” Jordan told Cigar Aficionado, via Alex Kennedy of Basketball News. “It’s to the point where some people have been able to utilize it to their financial gain and things of that nature.

“But for someone like myself — and this is what Tiger deals with — I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter [era], where you don’t have the privacy that you’d want and what seems to be very innocent can always be misinterpreted.”

Jordan is a notoriously private figure. In ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, he discussed how his immense fame deprived him of privacy, and part of the reason for his retirement was to get out of the spotlight. Late in his career, he could hardly go anywhere, and was essentially holed up in his room all the time. That all happened despite living in a world without social media.

Jordan’s position is understandable. If something like this happened in today’s world, it would be all over the internet.

Video: Jamal Murray recreated the Michael Jordan layup

Jamal Murray layup

Jamal Murray continued to show his spectacular skills during a Game 4 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

Late in the second quarter of the Denver Nuggets’ 114-108 loss to the Lakers, Murray drove to the basket to try making a play. He saw LeBron James standing in his path and faked out James by switching from a dunk attempt to the layup. The hangtime he got on the play was incredible:

The layup was unreal and reminded many of Michael Jordan’s famous layup against the New Jersey Nets in 1991.

Both plays were awesome, and they sure resemble each other.

Murray probably doesn’t care about the plaudits for the layup since his team lost. The Nuggets trail the Lakers 3-1 in the series.

This is the second game in a row that Murray has showcased his talent.