Skip to main content

"Just young and dumb" -- Mark Jackson on taunting Jordan with his tongue out


"Well, it’s an unconscious habit that I picked up from my father," Michael Jordan said about the origin of his iconic tongue tic. "Being a little kid and you’re watching your father work, he used to stick his tongue out, and I took it up and made it a habit."

Soon enough, MJ turned that habit into a trademark. And naturally, due to potential consequences of trademark infringement -- that being Michael's revenge -- no other NBA player was allowed to do it. But Mark Jackson tried, and it backfired.

I was just young and dumb. But I had a moment.

Mark Jackson, Club Shay Shay

His moment came in Game 2 of the 1989 second-round matchup between the Bulls and the Knicks -- New York came out on top 114-97 to tie the series at one game apiece. MJ struggled that game -- he finished with 15 points on 7-for-17 from the field -- and Jackson, who led the Knicks to victory with 20 points and 16 assists, started feeling himself.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

I thought we had every answer because we were rollin'. So I stripped him and I'm like, 'Oh it's on New York City, I stripped him.' Now they foul me on the break and I go in the air and I stick my tongue out. Mistake. Huge mistake.

Mark Jackson, Club Shay Shay

The morning before Game 3, Doug Collins showed Michael a video of Jackson sticking his tongue out. Later that day, once the game tipped off, so did Jordan's revenge campaign. And to no one's surprise, it ended up being a success -- he led the Bulls to a 111-88 victory with 40 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists on 14-for-25 from the field.

Like he talked about it in the documentary; he takes all of that and uses it as fuel. And he took advantage of that and used it as fuel and took over the game. I don't know what made me do it. I remember looking over at my dad and he's like, 'don't do that.'

Mark Jackson, Club Shay Shay

If only his dad had given Mark that advice earlier. Because once he stuck his tongue out to taunt No.23, the damage was already done. And at that point, there was no going back. Michael "took it personal," and the rest is history.

Brock Purdy & Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant on why Brook Purdy is one of his favorite NFL players at the moment - "He's ballin"

Kevin Durant is fascinated by Brook Purdy and he also shared his Super Bowl predictions

Toni Braxton & Jason Kidd

"I guess that didn’t help with the kiss and tell, whatever she said" - Jason Kidd on the Toni Braxton rumors

Jason Kidd insists he never dated Toni Braxton and there was no way he would've learned and cared about the singer and Jim Jackson

Gary Payton

I do think it will come" - Gary Payton on having his jersey retired by the Seattle Supersonics

Gary Payton remains positive that sooner rather than later, his jersey will be retired by his original and beloved team, the Seattle Supersonics

Stephen Jackson & LeBron James

“Not in my top 5” - Stephen Jackson gets brutally honest on LeBron James’ place in the current league

Former NBA Champion in 2003, Stephen Jackson names the Top 5 current NBA players, and excludes LeBron James

Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon

Why Malcolm Brogdon asked the Milwaukee Bucks to stop their Rookie of the Year campaign for him

Malcolm Brogdon's performance over the years reveals that his Rookie of the Year award is not a fluke.