Tim Duncan’s 1998 comments ripping Michael Jordan
While Duncan respected Jordan, the Big Fundamental said back in the day he wasn’t impressed by MJ, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
Patrick: That’s it. You met Jordan?
Duncan: But Jordan’s Jordan. I’ve always respected him but I’ve never been a fan of his.
Patrick: Why aren’t you a fan of Jordan’s?
Duncan: Because everybody else is.
Patrick: Oh, so you don’t like Michael Jordan because everybody else does.
Duncan: No, I don’t like Michael Jordan because I don’t like Michael Jordan. You got me wrong there. I respect Michael Jordan.
Patrick: You respect him. You just don’t like him?
Duncan: I’m just somebody that isn’t that impressed by him. There really isn’t anybody in the world I’m impressed with.
Tim Duncan wound up winning five championships with the Spurs, falling one short of Michael Jordan’s six titles with the Chicago Bulls.
It’s a little surprising to revisit this quote. While Duncan doesn’t outright say he hates Jordan, the Spurs icon sort of insinuated all the hoopla around MJ was overblown back in the ’90s.
However, Duncan is a big man who probably didn’t watch a lot of tape on Jordan growing up since the two Hall of Famers played different positions.
Jordan’s impact on basketball can’t be taken lightly. In his interview with Patrick, Duncan never talked down on Jordan’s basketball greatness. He just wasn’t salivating over His Airness like everyone else.