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"Yeah, you had a good career. It wasn’t a great one" -- JR Smith on how Michael Jordan trash-talked him while golfing

JR Smith shares his encounter with Michael Jordan and how he was exposed on the golf course by the six-time champion
JR Smith and Michael Jordan

JR Smith, Michael Jordan

NBA fans are familiar with the whereabouts of JR Smith and how after winning his second championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Bubble, he went back to college and took his talents to the golf course. The 35-year-old is currently enrolled in North Carolina A&T State University and happens to be playing for his university’s golf varsity. Given that it’s North Carolina and golf, it’s not hard to guess who Smith stumbled upon — Michael Jordan.

Golfing with Michael Jordan

In his one-on-one interview with Complex, the two-time champion opened up about his experience on the golf course with Jordan. Smith, who competed against Jordan for 36 holes, said that the Chicago Bulls legend didn’t hold back when it came to trash talking.

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“He smoked me,” Smith told Complex. “He threw this jab at me low-key. So we were betting right and I doubled down on one of my bets. He said, ‘Alright, what’s the game?’ I’m like, ‘We gon’ play a Nassau.’ I said, ‘Whoa, $100, not $1000.’ He said, ‘I know what you meant… You had a good career, not a great career. What do you want me to say?’ It was great for me.” 

It’s not a surprise to know that the 6-time champion talked his smack even on the golf course. As it has been well-documented throughout time, that’s just how Michael is wired, and it’s great to know that Smith took it like a sport. After all, nobody wants to be on the receiving end against Jordan, but that’s especially difficult since the GOAT has mastered the sport of basketball and golf. Maybe Smith can try his luck once again next time.

Smith’s inspiring return to school

Despite being exposed on the golf course by MJ, many fans still applaud Smith for taking not only the challenge but also his willingness to finish his education. Smith has been vocal about his college experience through Twitter, where he shares some hilarious tidbits about what he’s going through as a college student. The most notable was when the former high-level role player nabbed a 4.0 GPA in his first year of university.

Another reason why Smith’s return to school is inspiring is that it’s an indication that it’s never too late to finish one’s education — even how successful and far he’s made it in life. Smith could’ve easily opted to spend retirement doing what former NBA players typically do, but it’s remarkable that he still decided to chase after a diploma (and get into a new sport) even at the age of 35. 

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