We all know Michael Jordan is notorious for stories of him warning or dropping major points on guys when he felt like it or was provoked by players who thought they could stop him.
Byron Scott, former Lakers player and coach that played in that era in his position had a lot of chances to see MJ first hand. He told a story on the “Dan Patrick Show” of a particular night he wasn’t playing so MJ decided to fill up his replacement for 50 points:
“You guys remember Anthony Peeler? Out of Missouri. So we got the Chicago Bulls coming to town and, unfortunately, I got a sprained ankle. I enjoyed guarding Mike because he was—the one thing I did with Mike is I never got him pissed off. He makes a shot, you say, ‘Good shot, Mike!’ You don’t talk trash to him so that he can go off for 60. You try to kill him with kindness. You don’t talk trash to him.”
“So they’re getting off the bus, we’re done with shootaround, and we’re walking out and MJ says, ‘B Scott, what’s going on?’ I said, ‘What’s up, MJ?’ He said, ‘Man, I hear that you’re not playing tonight.’ I said, ‘No, I sprained my ankle.’ He said, ‘Who’s guarding me?’ I said, ‘Anthony Peeler.’ He’s like, ‘Oh. 50.’ [laughs] So I told Anthony Peeler, ‘Listen, MJ is probably going to go for about 50 tonight on you. So just don’t piss him off. Just be cool.’ He ended up with 54.”
Scott was spot on, as Jordan really finished that game with 54 points, but the Lakers actually managed to pull out the win. It was still a great story, never the less.