Ozzie Guillen is best known for being an outspoken baseball manager, not a basketball player. But there was a time he had a chance to prove himself on the court against Michael Jordan.

The former major league skipper learned that day not to mess with the GOAT—even when you have strength in numbers.

Guillen recently reflected on the pickup game from the mid-1990s in a video for ESPN. Anybody who knows anything about the former Chicago White Sox manager knows “Storytime with Ozzie” is sure to be entertaining.

During 1994 spring training, Guillen—then a White Sox shortstop—decided to team up with teammate Joey Cora (5’7″) in a game of two-on-one against Jordan, who had signed a minor-league contract with the team. That may not seem like a fair battle, but it is Michael Jordan after all.

The Guillen-Cora duo jumped out to a 5-0 lead, giving the amateur hoopsters some confidence—enough confidence to put $100 on the game. That turned out to be a big mistake. After taking a 7-1 lead, they never saw the ball again.

Jordan took over and dominated the rest of the game. The then, three-time NBA MVP ran off nine straight points to pull out a 10-7 victory. Here’s how Guillen tells the story after all these years, via Mark Townsend of Big League Stew:

After the 100 bucks, we score two more and he’s down by seven-one. We missed and he grabbed the ball, and we never touched the ball again. We hand the ball back — check — and he just went crazy. He wasn’t checking nothing. He ain’t checking s***. He would just dunk. One after another. We went to stop him and he would run through us. He would grab the ball, dribble, and go through like nothing was around him. He would push me around. He would dunk. He would push Joey around. It’s funny because I don’t see his back, I see his crotch. Every time he would go around us, I would just see his lower body. I wouldn’t see his hands. His lower body was over my face seven times. We tried to push him back and play dirty against him. He don’t care. We can put three Joeys and seven Ozzies and he going to keep going.

Reading the words doesn’t do the story justice. If you have a few minutes, watch the video to get the full experience.

The best part of the story is the fact that Jordan didn’t flip the switch because of the $100 wager. The Chicago Bulls legend took control of the game because he didn’t want to give Guillen bragging rights, even if it was two-on-one. There’s no doubt Jordan would never hear the end of it if Guillen’s team had come out on top.

In the end, it really didn’t matter how many White Sox players were on the court—Jordan was not going to lose. That’s the day Guillen learned a valuable life lesson: “Don’t f–k with the wrong people.”


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