Arguably the most iconic moment of ESPN’s The Last Dance was the scene of Michael Jordan laughing out loud when Seattle SuperSonics legend Gary Payton spoke about how well he guarded him in the 1996 NBA Finals.
“The Glove? I had no problems with the glove,” Jordan boasted in one of the most memorable lines in the series.
On Wednesday’s edition of The Colin Cowherd Podcast on The Volume, Payton responded to that memed-to-death moment. Cowherd asked The Glove how he felt about being laughed at by Jordan.
Payton responded that he feels exactly the same way now as he did then. He doubled down and say he might have respected Jordan less if Jordan didn’t laugh at how confident he is.
“If he didn’t say that, I wouldn’t respect it,” Payton said. “I wouldn’t even look at him anymore, because he’s a competitor like me. I looked forward to guarding him. He laughed. I would’ve laughed at the same thing because I don’t think he could guard me. So if he would’ve did that I would’ve been like, ‘Ha… please.'”
"He couldn't guard me either!" — @GaryPayton
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) June 16, 2021
In the 1996 NBA Finals, the Chicago Bulls raced out to a 3-0 lead as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman smothered the SuperSonics.
Gary Payton and Seattle were able to avoid a clean sweep with back-to-back wins in Games 4 and 5. But the Bulls took care of business in Game 6, winning their first of three straight NBA titles in a second three-peat.
Payton enjoy a Hall of Fame career with the Sonics for a few more years, and spent his last few years on four different teams. He would ultimately win an NBA title with the Miami Heat in 2006.
Michael Jordan had Gary Payton’s number in 1996. But Payton doesn’t seem at all bitter about it.