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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.

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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. 

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