Darrick Martin once trash-talked Michael Jordan only to regret it instantly after MJ’s legendary late-game flurry

The Vancouver Grizzlies didn’t create many lasting memories during their six years in Vancouver, but a Michael Jordan story from their first NBA season still lingers. Following a surprising start in the 1996-97 season, the Grizzlies lost 12 consecutive games when Jordan and the Chicago Bulls made their inaugural visit to Vancouver.

However, something happened in that game, an incident of trash-talking featuring Darrick Martin, who later claimed he learned his lesson after he encountered Michael Jordan exhibiting his on-court prowess against the Grizzlies.

Darrick Martin trash-talked Jordan

On paper, there was no chance as the Grizzlies faced a tough challenge against Jordan’s Bull, but they stood their ground against one of the greatest teams in history. The Grizzlies held a 64-62 lead over the Bulls after three quarters and managed to extend it to eight points with 8:42 left in the game after a basket by Darrick Martin. That’s when Martin chose to trash talk.

Darrick Martin who played for the Grizzlies once trash-talked Michael Jordan just to regret at the end of the game
Michael Jordan Via Getty

As revealed by Martin’s former teammate in Grizzlies, Antonio Harvey revealed, “So Darrick decides because there’s about 10 minutes to go in the game and we’re winning, he decides to say to Michael Jordan, who’s having an off-night, ‘Hey Mike! Sh*t’s not falling tonight, Mike! You’re having an off-night, Mike!”

Antonio Harvey recalls again what Martin said to MJ later in the game, “Told you we were going to whoop your ass tonight,” the pair continued their game and the rest was history, the saying goes.

During his second season in the NBA, Martin, having played with the six-time NBA champion in the legendary pick-up games at the ‘Jordan Dome’ while Jordan filmed Space Jam in Los Angeles, decided to share his thoughts.

Jordan returned the favor in emphatic fashion

Following the heated trash-talking battle between Martin and Jordan earlier during the matchup between the Grizzlies and the Bulls in 1996, Jordan wasn’t at his best, only scoring nine points, but he was determined to teach Martin a great lesson. In the final six minutes of the fourth quarter, Jordan erupted with 19 points.

It took the Bulls four minutes to level the score, eventually securing a come-from-behind 94-88 victory. While Jordan nailed the decisive jump shot to secure the win, he sought out Martin on the bench and uttered, “Little man, I told you about talking trash to me,” as MJ returned to the court to continue his game.

After several years of the incident Darrick Martin, reportedly recalls, “I poked the bear that night, and he showed me truly what greatness meant. So that was a learning lesson for me, for me to be able to take that lesson and carry on and eventually have 13 years in the NBA,”.

The Grizzlies came close to pulling off a remarkable upset. The Bulls, who eventually went on to achieve a 72-10 record that year and secure the next three NBA championships, faced a tough challenge in Vancouver.

However, the triumph in Vancouver marked Chicago’s second win in a 13-game winning streak. In contrast, the Grizzlies experienced a different fate, enduring a 19-game losing streak and concluding the season with a 15-67 record.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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