Michael Jordan iPad reaction memes exploded across the internet during the airing of "The Last Dance." We don't expect that trend will slow, even with the docuseries concluded.
Reply if you don't think MJ is the GOAT. pic.twitter.com/XInZIpIbvF— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 20, 2020
This booming laugh from Jordan was provoked by a clip of present-day Gary Payton claiming to have cracked the code of defending him midway through the 1996 NBA Finals — albeit too late. In that series, the Bulls jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead, then squandered two in a row before prevailing in six.
"A lot of people backed down to Mike. I didn't," Payton said in Episode 8 of the documentary. "I made it a point, I said, tire him out. Tire the f**k out of him. You just gotta tire him out. And I kept hitting him and banging him and hitting him and banging him, it took a toll on Mike..."
"... And then, the series changed..."
This man Michael Jordan is a walking meme😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Tt8VDfGTeO— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 11, 2020
"... And I wish I could have did it earlier. I don't know if the outcome would have been different."
— ESPN (@espn) May 11, 2020
"The Glove," Jordan said as he passed the iPad back to the interviewer (presumably director Jason Hehir). "I had no problem with The Glove."
Now, it appears we have a reaction to the reaction.
“Oh you know I was hot. I was thinking about calling him at the time. … But you know what, that’s what I expect out of Mike because I would’ve said the same thing. I would’ve said the same thing. You know me, B. I’m not gonna admit to nothing, man. I’m not gonna admit to somebody that D’d me up or did nothing.
I’ll always tell you that any time in my career, nobody gave me problems but one person, and that’s John Stockton to me. That is just the way the game goes. I’m not mad at Mike because Mike didn’t have too many games that nobody D’d him up.”
Despite admitting to being "hot" in the moment, as a fellow Type A NBA great, Payton undoubtedly knows where Jordan's hubris is coming from. If they ever do hop on the phone to discuss the documentary, they can commiserate over that.