How Michael Jordan coined ‘Black Jesus’ moniker
NBA icon Michael Jordan is a man of many names. Fans acknowledge him as His Airness and the GOAT, while the moniker “Black Jesus” has also been thrown around from time to time.
Turns out, that colorful nickname was actually bestowed upon by Jordan to himself. As seen in the latest episode of ESPN’s 10-part docuseries “The Last Dance“, MJ’s former adversary Reggie Miller recalled the time MJ first referred to himself as “Black Jesus”.
According to the Indiana Pacers legend, he once provoked Jordan during an exhibition game during his rookie season in 1987. This, of course, did not sit well with the MJ as he gave Miller a crude dose of reality.
“Michael…who do you think you are? The great Michael Jordan? That’s right, there’s a new kid on town!” Miller remembered telling Jordan.
Shortly after poking the bear, things went sideways for Miller and the Pacers.
“He kind of looks at me and starts shaking his head. So at half I have 10, and he has four points…end of the game, the second half, he ended up with 44 and I ended up with 12. So he outscored me 40-2. And as he’s walking off, he’s like, “Be sure, and be careful, you never talk to Black Jesus like that,” Miller shared.
Reggie learned about "Black Jesus" the hard way … and never made that mistake again 😅 pic.twitter.com/jANaXA24Tz
— ESPN (@espn) May 18, 2020
Reggie Miller, meanwhile, made an appearance in episode 9 of “The Last Dance” which delved into the intense 1998 Eastern Conference Finals between the Pacers and the Bulls. Miller had an amazing series and went to- to-toe with Jordan, as he came up big in Games 3 and 4.
The Bulls, however, went on to win in seven games, thanks in large part to Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s clutch buckets.
Jordan was indeed the Messiah on the hardwood and that nickname is as fitting as they come.