‘Welcome to the NBA, Little Fella’

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Cheick Diallo had his first game in the NBA Tuesday night. The center from Mali had the lowest point total of any player in history (1 point) who played at least 21 minutes. Diallo has been adjusting to playing against NBA-caliber athletes, but he’s not the first rookie to have a tough start in the league. In 1979, Portland Trail Blazers guard Lionel Hollins scored 2 points in his first NBA game, and by the end of his rookie season he had scored only 14 points combined. But Hollins went on to become an All-Star and played in the league for 14 years before retiring as a player in 1993.

For the second time in NBA history, a player is being promoted from the D-League to start in place of an injured player. The first player to do this was Greg Ostertag, when he was called up by the Utah Jazz to replace injured center, Mark Eaton. Unlike Ostertag, however, the Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Bell is not expected to be a long-term replacement for Zaza Pachulia, who will miss a few weeks with a sore left shoulder. According to coach Steve Kerr, Bell will be limited to eight minutes per game as a rim protector, rebounder and energy player off the bench.

As the 2015 NBA season begins, there seems to be a buzz around a young player from the Milwaukee Bucks called Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins, who just turned 19, has the potential to be the best player from this rookie class. Even though he has only played in the NBA for a few months, he’s already proven that he’s a top-tier talent by winning the Rookie of the Month award in his first month in the league. He also became the youngest player to ever score at least 40 points in a game (a record previously held by LeBron James).

Throughout his NBA career, Michael Jordan has proven to be a fearless competitor who can take things personally and use that as motivation. While pop culture is now filled with stories of His Highness’ vendettas, that hasn’t stopped some players from suing the Chicago Bulls star. Take Gary Payton, for example. As a rookie, Glove decided to give MJ a taste of his own medicine and dropped some harsh words during a preseason game. Unsurprisingly, Jordan is not insensitive to these comments and eventually puts Payton in his place.

Michael Jordan and Gary Payton both know how to talk.

. COMPARED TO: Michael Jordan once used the most expensive wine on the menu to teach his agent a lesson in respect Looking at the big picture, both Jordan and Payton have earned a place in basketball history with their accomplishments on the court. But these two men are also masters of the art of thrash. As mentioned above, MJ’s verbal exploits have entered NBA legend. The Chicago Bulls star needed a win and was willing to do whatever it took to keep his opponent off balance. No one is safe from Joradan’s wrath, including his own teammates and Bill Clinton. Payton’s words may not be as well known, but the defender also had a knack for getting under the skin of others. On one occasion, for example, he called the opposing coach a smurf. In another case, he threatened to kill his teammate’s family. Gauntlet also seemed to be afraid to go after someone. In his freshman year, everyone wanted to see the big man on an NBA campus: His air.

A lesson in friction from Michael Jordan

word-image-8596 word-image-8597 Michael Jordan and Gary Payton during the 1996 NBA Finals. | Dan Levine /AFP via Getty Images COMPARED TO: Gary Payton doesn’t think Michael Jordan is the toughest player he ever defended If you believe the movies and TV shows, the way to succeed in prison is to fight the strongest man in the yard. In his first year, Payton decided to go for it, but with an NBA perspective. According to an article in the Players’ Tribune, cited by For The Win, Payton played well in the preseason game against the Bulls. As MJ sat on the sidelines, Glove walked by the Chicago bench and spoke some important words. Not surprisingly, Jordan noticed. When the two teams met during the regular season, Jordan Payton refused to shake hands and told the Bulls that the rookie was his for the night. Although Glove had problems and didn’t play much, His Highness kept his word. Not only did MJ score 33 points, but he also went to the Sonics’ bench and answered Payton’s teasing. He looks me straight in the eye. That’s (obscene language) you said in the preseason, the defender recalled. The craziest thing is that MJ didn’t even go crazy. He chews his gum (rude). That’s the real thing (vulgar language) there. Welcome to the NBA, son.

This is not the last time Gary Payton communicated with his Air

. COMPARED TO: Michael Jordan poisoned the locker room so badly that his Wizards teammates refused to give him a parting gift For some players, the fact that Michael Jordan welcomed them into the NBA meant that they would never set foot on his doorstep again. Payton, however, did not flinch. A lot of people left Mike. I didn’t, Payton said of the 1996 NBA Finals on The Last Dance. I did it, I said, to exhaust him. Get him out of here. You just have to exhaust him. And I kept hitting him and hitting him and hitting him, it knocked Mike out. Jordan was not impressed, however. When he saw that it was Payton, he burst out laughing. Even when he retired, Jordan had the last word (literally) on the glove.

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