It had the makings of a disappointing debut. Through three quarters of a November, 1995 game against the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies, Michael Jordan had just 10 points and the Bulls trailed the Grizzlies 64-62.
Then the fourth quarter happened.
According to the Sporting News, Jordan remained on the bench until midway through the fourth quarter, when Vancouver guard Darrick Martin knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Grizzlies up 75-67 and began trash-talking Jordan.
Via the Sporting News:
Darrick Martin had been with Michael Jordan during the summer, he was one of the guys in the movie ‘Space Jam,’ (Antonio) Harvey said. Darrick thought they were kind of like friends because of the movie, because they had hung out during the summer and Darrick thought that meant he could talk trash. So — I have to clean it up, I can’t tell you what was said word-for-word — but Darrick started yelling, ‘Aw, Mike, it’s just not falling tonight, Mike!’ And he ran by their bench and yelled, ‘I told you we were going to beat you, Mike!’
Jordan came off the bench to score 19 points in a six-minute span, leading the Bulls to a comfortable 94-88 win in his first game in Canada.
The win improved Chicago’s record to 12-2 and the Bulls would go on to set an NBA record with 72 wins. Vancouver, meanwhile, finished 15-67 and moved to Memphis following the 2000–01 season.
All stats via Basketball Reference.