Skip to main content

That time when Michael Jordan slapped a Charlotte Hornet guard for celebrating a victory too early

Let's just say this is probably a moment Malik Monk will never forget in his life.
The time Michael Jordan slapped Malik Monk court-side

Michael Jordan, Malik Monk

It's not a surprise to know that even as an owner, Michael Jordan is as competitive and firm as he was as a player. The six-time NBA champion doesn't hesitate to show his disdain for his players, even if it means terminating them out of his team. Former Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk would know a thing or two about getting sermoned by the greatest basketball player of all time for making a careless mistake.

It's another to draw the ire of owner Michael Jordan

In 2018 when Monk was a crucial role player for the Hornets, he got into an incident that cost him a slap on the head from Jordan. In December, Charlotte hosted the Detroit Pistons on their home floor for a regular season game. The game was tied (106-106) in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter before Hornets starting guard Jeremy Lamb hit a go-ahead jumper to put his squad up by 2 with 0.4 seconds left on the clock. Assuming the game was done, Monk ran to the court to celebrate Lamb's game-winning shot.

However, since there was 0.4 seconds left on the clock, Monk was slapped with a technical foul for improper bench decorum and running to the court too early. Luckily for him, technical fouls only merit 1 point, so the Hornets still won the game.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

But Jordan didn't like that Monk gave up a point, so he slapped him on the head as he made his way back to the bench.

The only owner in sports that can get away with this

At least the Hornets still won the game thanks to Lamb's two-pointer, so Jordan and Monk laughed it off as the final buzzer rang. But what Jordan and Monk can't escape from is that this incident was a hot topic for the media and reporters right after.

According to former player Jalen Rose who now hosts the Jalen & Jacoby podcast, Jordan slapping Monk was not a big deal. It was just a depiction of the relationship between the owner and his player.

"I love that kingship. It was more of a fatherly or big brother or homie type of friend of a love tap. It's the kind of love tap that you can tell they probably gambled together before or play one-on-one together before. He's around the team. It wasn't like he just transplanted himself in for the game last night and everybody was in awe because MJ was there so I appreciate that. He's the only owner in the history of sports that can get in the way of that and not look at it some type of way. I appreciate that he has that level of respect and friendship with players that idolized him…," Rose said.

Rose was right in saying that only Jordan can get away with slapping his player because, after all, every basketball fan knows the GOAT's personality by now. As for Monk, let's just say this is probably a moment he'll never forget in his life. After all, it's not often that Jordan gets pissed off and jokingly slaps his player on the head — worst things have happened. 

JJ Redick & Phoenix Suns

JJ Redick shares what makes the Phoenix Suns an even better team and a legitimate contender this season- “I think it makes them a title contender”

Redick notes Bridges' improvements this season before saying that Bridges may be the X factor that could help the Suns emerge as title contenders this season

Charles Barkley & Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Despite not knowing his name, Charles Barkley offers a stern warning to the public if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t an All-Star starter this season

Barkley said SGA should be an All-Star starter, but couldn't manage to say his name correctly, and hilariously referred to him as Shai Alexander Gilchrist in the process

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

"You always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that" - Iman Shumpert discusses his on-court battles with Kevin Durant

Iman Shumpert reveals Kevin Durant was the hardest player he had to guard in his career

Larry Bird

"It makes me sick to my stomach" - Larry Bird on tanking in the NBA

If Larry Legend knew his team was tanking, he would've left it outright.

Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc

"I knew when I'd come here I am going to be this rookie kid that carries bags" - Toni Kukoc on how European players felt criticized coming into the NBA

His European basketball legacy may have not mattered in the NBA, but for Kukoc, he was still the "Croatian Sensation"

New Jersey Nets forward Kenyon Martin

“Everything after that was just basketball” — Kenyon Martin revealed the best moment of his career

For K-Mart, being drafted in the NBA was monumental but not a dream-come-true.