Everybody loves a Michael Jordan story. During yesterday’s Heat – Nets Summer League game, Kendall Gill shared one of his Michael Jordan stories. During the 1996-1997 season, while Jim Jackson was on the Nets, Jackson was enjoying a good game against Michael Jordan and the defending champion Chicago Bulls. Jackson was talking trash to Jordan who shut up Jackson by pointing out that he was wearing Jordans.
During the ’96-’97 season, Jackson spent 31-games with the New Jersey Nets. During that stint, the Nets played the Bulls twice, going 1-1. The Bulls finished the regular season 69-13 and won the NBA championship. The Nets finished the season 26-56. On March 14th, the Nets actually beat the Bulls, 99-98. Two weeks later, the Bulls beat the Nets 111-101, which is the likely date of Gill’s story. (The picture is from the 3/14/97 game and Jackson does not appear to be wearing Jordans.)
The AP story notes that Sam Cassell “jawed” with Jordan before having a quiet second half. Jackson scored 33, with 11 points coming in the 3rd, so he didn’t have a 25-point half. Gill finished the game with 18 points and one story he would tell during a Summer League game 17 years later. As for Jordan, he scored 13 of his 21 in the 4th and the Bulls won. Jordan may have been distracted early in the game having just lost $20 to Steve Kerr on the North Carolina – Arizona upset that sent the 1997 NCAA Champion Wildcats to the title game.