Michael Jordan is widely renowned for his ‘trash-talking‘ which along with his remarkable skills helped him to become the greatest player. However, there is one player, Joe Dumars, who dodged being at the receiving end of this trash talk very well. Despite being a key player for the Detroit Pistons who were the rivals of the Bulls, Dumars gained the respect of MJ.
In an interview with Dan Patrick, Dumars spoke about how he and Jordan never trash-talked about each other despite being rivals. He stated, “He and I matched up against each other for 14 straight years. In those 14 years, never once did he try to trash-talk me, and never once did I try to trash-talk him”. Dumars emphasized that they never spoke a negative word to each other and that he always respected Jordan.
Notably, ‘Bad Boys’ Pistons won over the Chicago Bulls from 1988 up until 1991. However, it was the year 1991 that marked the change as the Bulls won the playoffs and ultimately, their first championship. This was indeed a legendary win, and fans could envision the legacy that Jordan will leave.
During his illustrious career, Jordan’s trash-talking became a significant part of him. This was not only limited to the opponents but also his own teammates. Notably, he made a fellow Bulls player retire early because of his trash talk. On the other side, after being at the receiving end of it, Jordan had Laron Profit traded from the Wizards. It is intriguing how Dumars was always on the safer side and played against him for more than a decade.
Michael Jordan believes that Joe Dumars is the best defender
In the same interview, Joe Dumars mentioned how Michael Jordan would always come for a handshake before the game. Dumars said, “Those years we beat them there, he’d walk over every single time, shake my hand, and go ‘Good luck in the Finals, man”. Furthermore, he revealed how Jordan did this without any failure despite losing games and being devasted by it.
In his own words, “And you know, I could see he was devastated with the loss”. This speaks volumes about the ethics and respect that Jordan had. Interestingly, Dumars not only dodged the trash-talking but also gained appreciation from Jordan for being the best defender. Such a compliment from one of the greatest players of the NBA is certainly a big deal.
His Airness spoke to ESPNEWS about how Dumars is one of the toughest defenders that he had to face. Not only this, the Pistons star made Jordan uplift his own game. Jordan went into detail about how Dumars would think well and act smartly with his defense. Furthermore, MJ drew attention to how Dumars found weaknesses and made his opponents do things that they were not comfortable with.
Additionally, Jordan stated, “He introduced certain tricks to make me expand on my talents as an offensive player, and that is why I consider him one of the best”. It is undeniable that while Jordan is the greatest player and an offensive player, Dumas was the king of the defense. These two key players had mutual respect for each other and that helped them to have a healthy rivalry.