The eighth episode of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” ended Sunday with a breakdown of the Chicago Bulls’ victory over the Seattle Supersonics in the 1996 NBA Finals.
As you could imagine, that meant a lot of talk from Michael Jordan and Gary Payton. What very few people saw coming, though, was the birth of a new meme. And another reminder that not even other people’s interviews are safe from Jordan’s ruthlessness.
Michael Jordan laughs off Gary Payton
The fun started with Payton talking about his defense against Jordan, and how he wished it didn’t take going down 3-0 in the Finals to convince coach George Karl to let him take over guarding Jordan.
As Payton told it, the key was getting physical with Jordan, not unlike the tactics of the “Bad Boys” Pistons from a few episodes ago. Unfortunately, what Payton may not have realized is that the documentary producers would give Jordan a tablet with the video of his explanation.
What ensued was one of the most dismissive laughs you will ever see, as Jordan basically acted like a supervillain hearing the plot to bring him down. Except this supervillain ended up winning.
— ESPN (@espn) May 11, 2020
“The Glove. I had no problem with The Glove,” Jordan said after the laughs. “I had no problem with Gary Payton. I had a lot of other things on my mind.”
And suddenly, yet another new meme was born.
Michael Jordan watching Gary Payton talking about how tough he played MJ is my new favorite thing ever. pic.twitter.com/g309YxiUjC
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 11, 2020
— Clevis Murray (@ClevisMurray) May 11, 2020
When MJ see a reasonably priced pair of sneakers pic.twitter.com/idh92NfsJr
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) May 11, 2020
Gary Payton may never recover from this https://t.co/wXqcuYGo47
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 11, 2020
To be fair to Payton though, he might have had a point.
MJ’s stats the first three games when GP wasn’t guarding him: 31 points, 46 fg%, 50 3fg%
MJ’s last three games when GP was the primary defender: 23.7 points, 36.7 fg%, 11.1 3fg% pic.twitter.com/iNoPwBvkqL
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) May 11, 2020
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