Michael Jordan is not one to take any trash-talking kindly. Fiercely competitive, Jordan cannot stand anyone getting the better of him, even in a verbal altercation. For MJ, every situation is one that he needs to come out on top of and be the person who stands tall.
Jordan’s competitive nature has been a subject of discussion for many people. Former Grizzlies player Darrick Martin had to experience first-hand the consequences of trash-talking Mike, as Jordan went on to destroy him, win the game, and told him to shut up.
Jordan loved to verbally spar with everyone. In fact, he even credited Celtics’ legend Larry Bird for being the source of his ability to trash talking. But what happens when Jordan doesn’t have a way to respond to someone making fun of him? Actor and comedian Kevin Hart learned about this a few years ago.
In 2016, Hart appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and spoke about his favorite player – Michael Jordan (1:08 mark). Apparently, Jordan had asked Hart to host a charity event that he was doing in Las Vegas. During the event, Hart took aim at MJ and made fun of MJ’s fashion, and his beard among other things.
After the event, Hart met Jordan and greeted him. Jordan shook Hart’s hand really hard, and passive-aggressively told him to have a nice day. And Kevin Hart revealed he hadn’t spoken to MJ ever since.
“I pissed Mike off. Mike had a charity event in Las Vegas; they called me, they wanted me to host the event. So, I get there to host the event, and it’s something where they’re like auctioning things. It’s a real tight crowd; very boujee, everybody’s neck was really straight. So, I get up there, and I’m like, ‘Hey, man, loosen up. Relax. You’re here to have a good time. I start teasing him. I was like, ‘Man, what age do you get to where it’s OK to wear your pants that high, and nobody addresses it.’ I was like, ‘Y’all telling me I’m the only one that think Mike’s past the legal limit for the waist.’ But it was like fun jokes. “He had like the little square mustache at the time. And I was like, ‘What is that?’ I said, ‘It looks like a thumbprint like you just smelled something.’ And nobody’s laughing. They got to a point where nobody’s laughing. … He’s actually giving me a look like, ‘You going to keep on going? You ain’t going to stop?’ So, I don’t care; I’m having a good time. I was laughing. I may or may not have been drunk at the time. So, I remember I hit him with one more, and nobody said nothing. So, I’m like ‘whatever’. “I see him; I’m like, ‘What up Mike? Hey’ .And he shook my hand, and he squeezed it real hard, and he was like, ‘You have a good day.’ I ain’t seen him since. He’s still my favorite player, though. He’s still my favorite player, and if I see him again, I’m going to ask him about it. I’m like ‘You better lose the ‘tude, man.’”
Clearly, MJ didn’t take what Hart said well, and wasn’t happy with the verbal sparring. It’s surprising that MJ didn’t fire back, given how much he loves to talk trash others.
But there have been instances where Jordan has cut off from people who criticize him. Charles Barkley has spoken about how his friendship with MJ collapsed after he critiqued MJ for his decisions as an owner.
Perhaps MJ and Hart will reconcile, but at the moment, he still seemingly holds a grudge for the jokes that Hart made at his expense.