LaBradford Smith is a former NBA player that spent three seasons in the league, two and a half with the Washington Bullets and a half season in Sacramento. But on Sunday night, he got his few minutes of fame at the expense of Michael Jordan.
At the start of episode 8 of ESPN’s 10-part documentary “The Last Dance”, the show tells the story of Smith and Jordan battling early in their careers in a game at Chicago Stadium. Smith scored 37 points in a win over the defending champs in 1993 and that didn’t sit well with Jordan.
Following the game, Jordan told reporters that Smith had said “Good game, Mike” as he walked off the court and it irritated Michael. He used that for motivation in the very next game playing those same Bullets. Jordan vowed to match Smith’s output in just the first half.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 11, 2020
“Rodney McCray and BJ Armstrong, I was at center court stretching, and they was like LA, I hope you got your rest last night because he said he’s going to have 37 by half,” Smith recalled via Cardinal Authority.
Jordan scored 36 in the first half.
It was clear that Smith’s words motivated Jordan and he wasn’t going to back down from anyone. Except one thing: That story never happened as Smith never said that. Following the game, writers asked Jordan about it and with a smile he said “No. I made it up.”
"A couple of writers went up to Michael and said 'did this happen?' And Mike, with a smile said 'no. I made it up."
– Mike Wilbon https://t.co/btSpkbCTpo
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 11, 2020
What a move by the GOAT.
Look, we now know for sure that Jordan would do ANYTHING to motivate himself and win. Literally, anything. And guess what? Even though he’s a lunatic for that, I respect it. Because that is just an incredible story.