Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Dikembe Mutombo, Moses Malone, Alonzo Mourning. The obvious common denominator of this list is The Basketball Hall of Fame. But something else links all of these all-time greats together, and that’s a fact they were all dunked on by Michael Jordan.
Don’t get it twisted; the list is far from over. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg, since Michael dunking on someone was almost a weekly occurrence during the 90s. That’s why when going up against him, making sure not to end up on the wrong side of the NBA’s Top 10 list was of the highest priority for all. None of the guys listed were able to do it. Jason Kidd was.
Probably my rookie year, I’m guarding him, and my heart’s about to come out of my chest and I’m just praying that he shoots a fadeaway jump shot. But he decided to go baseline, and when he went to jump, all I could think about ‘this cannot be a highlight.’Jason Kidd, Dan Patrick Show
Luckily for Kidd, it ended up not being a highlight. At least not the type Jason feared. He went up and contested the shot, and MJ took it easy on him, sparing a 22-year-old guard from making Jordan’s list in one of the first games the two have played against each other.
He just did like a little reverse layup, and as he came down and started running back, he just looked back and winked at me, and I thought, ‘oh man, this could be a long night.‘Jason Kidd, Dan Patrick Show
And so many times, it was a long night when Kidd faced Michael. But he held his own. In 11 times the two faced each other, the Hall of Fame point guard came out on top 6 times, averaging 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 9.4 assists, and 2.4 steals to Michael’s 26.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4 APG, and 2.2 SPG.
You could even argue that, at least on an individual level, Jason ended up winning his head-to-head matchup against the GOAT. But that sure wasn’t Kidd’s biggest victory looking back on it. The biggest one was not making the dunked by MJ list. So many all-time greats don’t have the luxury of saying the same thing.