Playing against Michael Jordan had to have been an incredible experience for rookies who entered the league idolizing him. While it ended up going well for players like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, stars like Tracy McGrady had a different experience.
McGrady revealed the story of one of his first encounters with MJ on the court coming when Jordan openly announced he wouldn't trash-talk the Raptors because they're a bad team.
"We weren't a very good team at that time so I'm sure he was like, 'There's no need to even waste my trash talking on this sorry a*s team.'"
McGrady then revealed that the trash-talking was out in full force during the All-Star Weekend.
"I don't recall him talking any trash when he was with the Wizards but I didn't have any run-ins. Now on All-Star Weekend? Of course, Mike talked sh*t because we're all there together. There's a lot of locker room sidebar conversations and chattin' about certain things but I can't really pinpoint what those conversations were about but, you do hear the chatter with Mike and him talking sh*t to guys."
McGrady averaged 24.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 8 games over his career in games against Jordan, while Jordan averaged 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game in that stretch. The head-to-head series is 5-3 in MJ's favor.
MJ was at the end of his career by the time McGrady emerged as a star, so it would be interesting to see their styles clash if they were both in their primes.
Even though MJ wasn't the best version of himself by the final two seasons of the Bulls dynasty, he was still far better than 99% of the players in the league. That level of dominance is insane. MJ averaged 29.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in his final two seasons with the Bulls before stepping away from the sport.
When he came back with the Wizards in the 2001-02 season, MJ still managed to be one of the best players in the league. He averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists over his Wizards tenure, effortlessly averaging 20 points and playing 82 games in his final season.
They don't make 'em like Mike anymore. The six-time Finals MVP rewrote NBA history with his name and will likely be considered the GOAT by most fans for the foreseeable future.