fb-pixel Skip to main content

Kevin Garnett learned the hard way not to talk trash to Michael Jordan

Kevin Garnett learned his lesson when it came to battling Michael Jordan.
Kevin Garnett learned his lesson when it came to battling Michael Jordan.Jim Davis/Globe Staff/file

Appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” former Celtics star Kevin Garnett shared a cautionary tale about trying to trash-talk Michael Jordan.

Garnett recalled a game where, as a teenager, he was feeling good going against Jordan. Garnett and the Timberwolves were up early on Chicago, and Garnett’s teammate J.R. Rider was shooting well.

“I was playing great, probably the best I ever played in my life at this point. And it’s against the Bulls and J.R. Rider is having an unbelievable game, too, and I’m feeling 19,” Garnett said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, keep going, you’re killing him. Woo!’ ”

But even though Rider tried to warn him, things turned sour quickly for Garnett and Minnesota.


“J.R. told me just to calm down,” said Garnett. “He was like, ‘Yeah, we’re having a good game, but chill. He can hear you.’ I was like, ‘Who cares? Keep going!’

“In the short form of it, I woke up a sleeping dog. It just turned bad, Jimmy, it turned really bad. And it turned bad quick,” Garnett added. “It got me bit in the [backside].”

Garnett said Jordan still remembers the game.

“Whenever I see Jordan he always does the same thing every time,” said Garnett. “He palms my head and he says, ‘Remember the game I gave you 40 in three quarters?’

“And then he has this sidekick ... around him and he’s like, ‘Pull that [video] up.’ And then a guy goes and pulls it up! I’m like, ‘What is this?’ This is really Jordan Brand. Who walks around with content? Like, tee it up. It was an experience in which I quit talking trash to Michael.”

The Jordan segment starts at roughly the two-minute mark.

Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.