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[1987] Michael Jordan vs. Utah Jazz Heckler


Throughout his illustrious NBA career, Michael Jordan had many trash-talk episodes, and the one we'll cover today is among the most memorable anecdotes.

MJ was a high flying phenomenon and was often posterizing people, as he saw dunking as a way to embarrass his opponents. He had a few remarkable poster dunks, specifically in 1987.

The Utah Jazz were hosting the Chicago Bulls in Salt Lake City. MJ got the ball in the post, as John Stockton gambled on the pass he quickly turned around and dunked it. Despite being an all-time great, Stockton only stands 6-foot-1, which is meager by NBA standards. Someone from the stands yelled to Jordan to "pick on somebody his own size."

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And he did. MJ didn't back away from the challenge as poor Mel Turpin, Utah's backup center, suffered the consequences. On the very next possession, Jordan got the ball in transition, ran to the basket and dunked over seven footer Mel Turpin. Symbolically after he dunked, he asked the heckler: "Is he big enough"? The heckler remained silent until the end of the game.

This was an excellent example of what made Michael Jordan so great. His supreme athleticism probably had a lot to do with it, as did his finely tuned skill-set. But the biggest reason Jordan ended up as the greatest NBA player we have ever seen is his amazing competitive nature.


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