The stories of Michael Jordan’s trash talk are – like the basketball player – so very legendary. Jordan’s fierce competitive nature has bred countless amazing anecdotes (like this one), but they’re not just limited to memories on NBA courts.
Former basketball player and actor Keith Gibbs, who served as an extra on Space Jam, talked to Grantland about his days on set with Jordan and revealed that the Bulls legend pretty much has no ‘off switch’ when it comes to talking smack.
Did Jordan trash-talk you?
Oh yeah, nonstop. [Laughs.]
He didn’t give a s–t who you were. When I was doing Space Jam, we played three days. I thought it was over. I had to go out of town. I get a phone call, they’re like, “Why aren’t you here?” I was like, “Oh, they’re still playing?” I had no idea.
I walk in, and it’s Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Alonzo Mourning, Charles Oakley. Grant Hill shows up. Jerry Stackhouse shows up. Now, all of a sudden it’s an NBA All-Star pickup game. Every night. I did that for about a month and a half, two months. Then the UCLA kids came in, and they had just won a national title — Ed O’Bannon and those guys. Just phenomenal. Best pickup games I’ve ever been a part of. It was unreal.
Yeah, so Jordan … I had to guard Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan in back-to-back games. It was so bad. I was friends with Chris Mills and Tracy Murray — we had been to some camps together. One play, I got switched onto Jordan, because Chris was like, “Keith, you take him.” Jordan hit a 35-footer on me. I mean, it was ridiculous: leg out, tongue out, all that stuff … hit a 35-footer on me and goes, “GET THE F–K OFF THE COURT.”
Hitting a 35-footer in a pro basketball player’s face and telling them to get the f**k off the court? Sure, that’s reasonable. But hitting one on a poor actor whose basketball career is limited to some burn at Cal State Northridge? Man, that’s harsh. Most definitely hilarious, but still very harsh.
I hope these stories never end.