To this day, Duke vs. North Carolina is still one of the most epic rivalries in the history of American college basketball. Indeed, the rivalry never dies as the byproducts of the renowned universities would sometimes clash like they’re still representing their respective teams. In fact, UNC's Michael Jordan and Duke's Grant Hill just had a good one recently.
All of us know that Jordan is arguably the most famous North Carolina Tar Heel in history for obvious reasons. Hill, on the other hand, was the most celebrated Duke Blue Devil at one point. So when the pair crossed paths at the NBA 75 ceremony, the inevitable happened.
For context, a few weeks before the NBA 75 ceremony, Duke thumped UNC by 20 points at home, a victory that some Blue Devils legends like Hill still savors at present. When he saw MJ at the event, he couldn’t help but talk trash to him about it. Of course, Jordan didn’t back down, and the pair had a brief yet intense back and forth.
“I saw [Michael Jordan] in Cleveland at the NBA 75 ceremony,” Hill said on The Rich Eisen Show. “So I was talking all types of trash. I was in his face, and I was like, ‘Oh man,’ like, you know? I’m giving it to him, and he’s like, ‘Man, you weren’t talking trash when we were good.’ And I would say, ‘Yes, I was. I was talking trash because when you guys were good, we were good, too.’ And, so, we were going back and forth in the hallway.”
Hill went on to explain that the rivalry between him and MJ as former Duke and UNC players, “although there’s an incredible and mutual respect,” they “definitely like to talk trash.”
Hill felt he was once better than MJ
Drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the No. 3 overall in 1994, Hill quickly took the NBA by storm, averaging 20+ points and 7.7 rebounds in his first six healthy seasons on the team. At the time, GH felt he was better than anybody in the league. And yes, including Jordan.
“I think certain players when you're at a certain level… You feel like you're the best player on the court,” Hill pointed out. “So when I stepped on the court, even against Jordan, I always felt like I was the better player. Whether I was the best player or not, that's what I felt."
Looking back, Hill and Jordan may have been two different beasts. However, we can all agree that both legends will never back down from anybody once their competitive juices start flowing.