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NBA Loud - by Rick Gillispie

Magical Michael Jordan Moments: 'Payback is a Bitch!'

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted stuff on great Michael Jordan moments, so, what better time than now to write about another legendary tale in regards to MJ.

Now, the moments that have been covered so far are easily the more recognisable ones, but one favourite tale of this writer is little known outside the fanatical basketball world. Yes, we’re speaking in relative terms because this concerns His Airness, but generally speaking, this one is gold!

Has anyone ever heard of a former Washington Bullets player named LaBradford Smith? Hands up, any readers out there? Oh, put your hands down if you’re related to Smith, or are friends of the former Washington player. No?

Well, allow this writer to relate a tale involving MJ and Smith which is both hilarious and illustrative of the almost fanatical will to win from Jordan.

During the 1993 season, the Bulls were playing against the Bullets and Mike was guarding a
LaBradford Smith
The face of the man who for one night was greater than, Michael Jordan. (Image from
little known player called LaBradford Smith. This young upstart managed to drop 37 on Jordan and one could easily assume that His Airness was taking a night off defensively because he was a monster at stopping opposing players. Or, maybe Smith was just greater than Jordan, depends how you want to look at it.

The game is close and the Bulls won, but Jordan is furious that Smith had the temerity to embarrass the greatest like that. Even the win wasn’t enough to appease Jordan’s fury, and by a quirk of the scheduling the two teams would meet again the next night!

After the game MJ vowed to teammates that he was going to get back all 37 points Smith dropped on him by the first half!

Adding a further flapping red cape in front of the angry Bull, Jordan claimed that Smith also taunted him after his seminal performance with the words: “Nice game, Mike.” Telling all who would listen that LaBradford trashed him.

Everybody believed Jordan, the Bullets and Bulls players, while Smith never denied the fact that he taunted him. The legend grew with Washington players passing on the tale at how LaBradford zinged the greatest basketball player of all time.

So, the scene was set the next night when the two combatants would face each other again and Jordan was almost true to his word – he ‘only’ scored 36 points in the first half, with a jumper rimming out as the second quarter came to an end.

Want to know the best part of this tale? Are you ready for the twist at the end of the story? Jordan made up the fact that Smith had trashed him, in fact Smith never said a word, but MJ needed further inspiration to school LaBradford so told everyone that he was disrespected. Amazing.

Today’s video is of MJ lighting up Smith for 36 in the first half.

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3 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]
1. October 21st 2007 @ 04:23. Techno Says:
Great sport mate, good post.

2. October 22nd 2007 @ 13:50. World of Hoops Says:
Great post man! It's really nice to reminisce the history that Air Jordan made for the game
3. October 23rd 2007 @ 06:22. Stanley Says:
thanks techno! it is a great sport and you have a great site. i have visited a few times but haven't commented. will do in the future.

thanks for your comment.

world of hoops - thanks for the props! yes, always fun to relive mj moments. could dedicate a post every day to the man.

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