‘You Had A Good Career, Not A Great Career,’ Michael Jordan Gives J.R. Smith A Taste Of His Epic Trash Talk On The Golf Green

Michael Jordan is always setting the record straight and teaching college kids that there's levels to this. (Image Credit: Twitter Screenshot/@RTNBA)

J.R. Smith has been an inspiration for many having had a whole NBA career, won a championship, and now as a student-athlete in Greensboro, North Carolina, at North Carolina A&T as part of the historically black land-grant research university’s golf program. The former straight from high school to the pros player has shown all the levels of success one can have during a professional athletic career and after, but he also has lived out some other childhood dreams.

Smith had the chance to play golf with the iconic Michael Jordan himself and got a taste of that Air Jordan cynicism. While the two were playing, Smith had to check his wallet when pacing wagers with MJ, along with his ego on the putting green.

“It was one of the most childish feelings I felt as a grown-ass man,” Smith said to Complex Sports. “That’s Mike, bro. I couldn’t stop looking at him like, ‘Yo he got the Jordan’s.’ ”

However, this is Michael Jordan, and although the two might be part of the eternal brotherhood that is being an NBA alum, All-Star, and multi-champion the kid gloves come off when competing against His Airness.

“He smoked me; the first round we ended up even, and the second round he smoked me by like three shots,” Smith continued while confirming MJ talked trash the entirety of the game. Then came the wager.

“So we was betting, right? I doubled down on my bets and I was like five front, five back, and five overall. He was like, ‘aight cool.’ I said, ‘whoa, hundreds not thousands.’ He was like, ‘no, I know what you’re talking about, I know what you meant.’ ”

Then came the infamous MJ, the cynic dropping his opinion like an atom bomb.

“He threw this jab at me low-key and I was like, ‘Ooh, that was a good one.’ He said, ‘you had a good career, not a great career. It wasn’t a great one, you had a good one.’ I was like, ‘ooh.’ What do you want me to say? It was great for me.”

Smith played in the league for nearly two decades, his last being on the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers, where he won a championship. However, he recently revealed that he feels he and fellow players Jamal Crawford, Isaiah Thomas, Nick Young and Joe Johnson have not received contracts and are now ostracized from the league.

“I mean, anybody can sit here and tell you that that’s a fact,” Smith continued. “You got those 30 teams, or the top three people on each 30 team and exclude them, give me the 4 through 15th man, just the 4 through 15. Name one of them that’s better than me.

“I’m sitting there like, bro, I’ve worked out with these dudes. I’ve watched their GM come up to me and ask me like ‘Yo, why you not playing?’ You know why I’m not playing. I feel like it’s a whole genre that that happened to. Joe Johnson, who obviously still got game, still plays. Jamal Crawford, still got game, still can play. Nick Young, still got game, still can play. Isaiah Thomas, still got game, still can play.”

While Smith is occupying his time productively instead of another call from the league, he is living his best life and having memorable experiences that are as unique as his career.


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.