Michael Jordan had mad respect for Knicks’ iconic Point Guard, Derek Harper “I tell you what Harp, I respect you”

The NBA universe is fully aware of what Michael Jordan was capable of doing when someone challenged him in the basketball court. The GOAT was highly competitive and always took challenges personally. Every single athlete wanted to beat him but MJ conquered them all instead.

The likes of Derek Harper, Isiah Thomas, and Magic Johnson all wanted to beat MJ during their careers. However, Jordan prevailed as the ultimate conqueror and single-handedly dominated all of them. During the 1990s, there were some of the best athletes to ever set foot on an NBA court, but no one was as competitive as Jordan.

After an 18-month sabbatical, His airness returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995, and soon after, he traveled to New York City for his first game back at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. With Derek Harper and other tough defenders on the other team, Jordan put on a performance for the ages, scoring 55 points in a 113-111 triumph. Harper, who felt defeated after the game, acknowledged that he was powerless to stop Jordan. 

“If you know how the people feel about basketball in New York City, you can only imagine how fired up the city was. There was a buzz like I have never felt in New York for the game,” remarked Harper, who at the time was in the second year of his Knicks career.

During that match, the Chicago Bulls legend was already unstoppable. With nothing to lose as a last resort, Harper requested a chance to guard MJ after observing nothing happening. “What did I have to lose?” thought the cagey veteran.

Harper tried his best to stop him, but Jordan quickly responded, “I tell you what, Harp. I respect you. You’re a pretty hard-nosed defensive player but it’s way too late for you. I’m already hot.” That is the definition of legendary confidence.

Zahid Iqbal

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