May 20, 2020 | 3:48am
One NBA Hall of Famer didn’t wilt under Michael Jordan’s verbal abuse.
Some fans may forget that Robert Parish, of Boston Celtics fame, played one season with Jordan, winning a title with his “Airness” in the 1996 season, his only season with the Chicago Bulls and the final one of his 19-year NBA career.
But that didn’t stop him from getting the Jordan treatment, which was often discussed during different segments of the 10-part “Last Dance” documentary that concluded on Sunday.
In a 2012 interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Parish told an anecdote about a run-in he had with Jordan while he was a member of the Bulls.
In one of his first practices with Chicago, Parish committed a blunder on one play and was amused to find Jordan jawing at him just inches from his face.
“I told him, ‘I’m not as enamored with you as these other guys. I’ve got some rings too,’ ” Parish recalled. “At that point he told me, ‘I’m going to kick your ass.’ I took one step closer and said, ‘No, you really aren’t.’ After that he didn’t bother me.”
The Hall of Fame center — who was part of the Big 3 with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale that led the Boston Celtics to titles in 1981, 1984 and 1986 — also said he preferred Bird’s leadership style over Jordan’s.
“What set Larry apart from Magic (Johnson) and Jordan was he wasn’t an in-your-face leader like they were,” Parish told MacMullan. “He had too much respect for us. If you weren’t having a good night, he was more inclined to encourage you, or not say anything at all.”
Parish, who averaged 14.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during his career, played in just 43 games for the Bulls that season, but still picked up his fourth ring.