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I’m sure a bunch of people had no clue or even remember that Robert Parish played for the 1996-97 Bulls. He won a ring with the team, but wasn’t mentioned in “The Last dance” at all.
The documentary showed just how ruthless Jordan was towards his teammates and Parish experienced it first hand. Unless most of Jordan’s teammates, Parish wasn’t going to back down.
Appearing on the Locked On Celtics podcast, Parish described a practice where his second unit held its own against Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the starters.
“I was talking trash to Michael because he and Scottie was enjoying their dominance over the second team, and then when the second team finally got a center that could enhance their abilities, the first team could no longer enjoy dominance over the second team,” Parish said. “So I just wanted to let them know that they’re no longer the king on the block.”
The trash talk eventually got to Jordan.
“He was at half court and I was at the top of the key,” Parish said. “I think he was a bit ticked off, too, because the second team was kicking their butt at the time and I was talking trash.”
Play would stop and the two of them would start jawing at each other.
“I didn’t back down,” Parish said. “He said he would kick my butt, and I told him he felt that strongly about it, come and get some. That was the end of it. We didn’t have another confrontation.”
Fortunately for everyone involved, it didn’t escalate.
“Michael has a tendency to test his teammates especially the new faces on the team,” he said. “I think it was more of a test than a threat. He was testing my reaction to his being a bully…. I didn’t read anything into it. I think it was just a test to see how I would respond.”
Parish finished his Hall of Fame career in Chicago, inning his fourth championship.