You'd think playing alongside Michael Jordan would be a dream for any young star in the NBA, but it turned out to be anything but for Richard Hamilton.

Jordan was known for his acid tongue on the court, widely considered one of the most competitive players and biggest trash talkers in the game. The opposition were always in the firing line, but his teammates weren't spared either.

Richard Hamilton was the bright star of the Washington Wizards when Jordan made a stunning return to the sport between 2001 and 2003, and the then rookie has revealed an epic sledge delivered by the basketball great in his direction.

Hamilton was the seventh pick in the 1999 draft and considered the future star of the franchise and thought his legendary teammate might cut him in on a deal with his famous Air Jordan sneaker brand. But it turned out, Jordan didn't quite think the same way.


"At times me and a couple of the young guys would come up to him and say 'Hey Mike, won't you think about putting us in the brand Jordan collection'. He'd look at me and say, 'Hey Rip, my sneakers are for All-Stars'," Hamilton told ESPN's The Jump.

"At that time I'm like 'wow, really?' Then my other friend, I'm not going to say his name, said what about me, Michael? MJ said, 'Your game is not to my liking. It's not good enough for my sneakers'. So that was the whole talking trash with Mike. You just had to have thick skin with him."

Jordan joined the club as president of basketball operations after finishing his time with the Chicago Bulls. But the great decided to lace up the sneakers again at the age of 38, to assist the Wizards, who were then the worst team in the NBA.

His teammates had the privilege of playing with the basketball legend, but were also in an awkward position. Jordan was set to return to his role with the Wizards head office at the end of the 2003 season, meaning he would be in charge of any player's future, including controlling their wages.

"It was weird because you look up to Michael Jordan, he's the greatest. He was my idol growing up. Getting the opportunity to play with him, knowing that next year he was going to be the guy signing the cheques, you got to get along," Hamilton said.

"I told the guys, be careful of what you say to MJ, don't talk trash to him, let him win everything, because he's going to be the man who writes out cheques. We got to stay in our lane."

Hamilton would eventually become a three-time NBA All-Star, going on to play 14 seasons in the league. He would record several accolades through his career and revealed he finally did get back at the basketball great.

"You know, I went home, I looked in the mirror, and I said I'm going to come back to MJ and I did. After I made the All-Star team I went back to him and said 'Now I'm an All-Star, you got to put me in them sneakers'. Now you got to pay me the big bucks," Hamilton said.


Former NBA great Tracy McGrady also revealed what it was like to play against Jordan during his Wizards swansong. Jordan may have aged in years, seeing him play less minutes on court, but it didn't dull his aggressiveness, nor ability to post big points.

"Even Mike at 38, 39, he was still a bad boy. He got 50 (points) that year. He had 40 like eight times and I had no sympathy for Mike at that age, because he was still good," McGrady said.

"I tried to go at Mike and hit 40 or 50 every time I faced him, because that's Michael Jordan, he's a competitor. Now he wasn't 'Chicago Mike', but he was still pretty damn good."