Patrick Ewing Says Michael Jordan 'Will Never Stop' Trash-Talking His Rivals Even After Retirement

Arguably the greatest player in basketball history, Michael Jordan was also a world class trash-talker. The first eight episodes of The Last Dance have offered a timely reminder at how ruthless and unapologetic Jordan was when it came to unleashing verbal volleys in the direction of teammates, team executives and opponents.

Habits die hard and former New York Knicks great Patrick Ewing revealed Jordan is as prodigious a trash-talker now as he was in his playing days.

"Even today, if i call him right now, he'll still be talking trash to me," the two-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee told Rachel Nichols on ESPN's The Jump on Monday.

Ewing featured prominently in The Last Dance, ESPN's 10-part documentary which chronicles Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls, when the series delved into the heated rivalry that developed in the 1990s between the Knicks and the Bulls.

The series between the two defined the Eastern Conference after the Detroit Pistons—which had defeated the Bulls three seasons in a row between 1988 and 1990—abdicated the throne in 1991, with Chicago becoming for the Knicks what Detroit had been for the Bulls.

Intense as the rivalry was, it was very much a one-way street. The Bulls and the Knicks met six times in the playoffs from 1989 to 1996, with the former prevailing on five occasions.

Ewing and the Knicks eventually exorcised their demons in the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals, defeating Chicago in a memorable seven-game series.

Crucially, however, that version of the Bulls was without Jordan, as MJ had just begun his baseball career after leaving the NBA in October 1993. By the time the two teams crossed paths again in the playoffs two years later, Jordan was back and normal service was restored as the Bulls won 4-1.

Ewing admitted that to this day Jordan is more than happy to remind him that the Knicks' only series win over the Bulls came without him on the court.

"I played 17 years and we played against the Bulls six times, and we were only able to win one of those times, and unfortunately he wasn't there," the 11-time All-Star said.

"He's been talking trash from the first day that I met him," Ewing added. "And he still continued to talk trash, telling me that I have never beaten him when it counted."

The career of Jordan and Ewing followed similar paths long before the feud between the Bulls and the Knicks developed.

The duo crossed paths in the 1982 NCAA Championship Game when Jordan hit the game-winner as North Carolina defeated Georgetown 63-62. Ewing tasted success on college basketball's biggest stage two years later, just months before Jordan was selected with the third overall pick in the NBA draft.

Ewing followed Jordan into the professional game 12 months later, when the Knicks drafted him with the first overall pick. The parallels continued in the NBA with Jordan winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1985, before Ewing succeeded him the following year.

While Ewing matched Jordan for individual accolades in the early stage of his career, his former college adversary did more than anyone else to prevent the former Georgetown star to win an NBA title.

The Knicks reached the Eastern Conference semifinals 11 times in 12 seasons from 1989 but never managed to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy aloft, losing to the Bulls in five seasons.

When the Knicks made the most of Jordan's absence and eventually conquered the Eastern Conference in 1994, they lost the NBA Finals in seven games to the Houston Rockets.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, Patrick Ewing
Michael Jordan (L) and Patrick Ewing wave to fans during the match between Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers as part of the 2015 NBA Global Games China at Universiade Centre on October 11, 2015 in Shenzhen, China. Zhong Zhi/Getty