Rip Hamilton: Michael Jordan Traded Laron Profit After Trash Talk in Practice

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

Washington Wizards co-owner Michael Jordan (R) practices with Wizard Laron Profit at the MCI Center 31 January 2000, in Washington, DC. Jordan said he practiced with the team to evaluate players.    AFP PHOTO    Mario TAMA (Photo by MARIO TAMA / AFP) (Photo by MARIO TAMA/AFP via Getty Images)
MARIO TAMA/Getty Images

During an appearance on Showtime's All The Smoke (warning: video contains profanity), Richard Hamilton recounted how Michael Jordan would occasionally practice with the Washington Wizards players prior to making his return as a player in 2001.

Hamilton said he and teammate Laron Profit would exchange trash talk with Jordan during their informal scrimmages. In one instance, Profit may have crossed the line.

Hamilton said Profit got the better of Jordan on one possession and told MJ, "You can't guard me with them old-ass knees."

Hamilton said he immediately knew that Jordan was "heated," something he thought carried over into the start of the offseason.

"He was heated to the point that when I went to my exit meeting—because he was the president at the time—I went into my exit meeting and he was like, 'OK, Rip, you know, your man, your buddy ... he's outta here,'" the three-time All-Star said. "He said, 'But you're gonna be there by yourself, and you ain't gonna have your buddy to co-sign. You're gonna be on an island by yourself.'"

Washington sent Profit and a first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in August 2001 for North Carolina center Brendan Haywood. Based on Hamilton's comments, it would be unfair to directly connect Profit's trash talk to his trade, but Jordan's ability to hold a grudge is almost as legendary as his exploits on the court.

The Last Dance told the story of how MJ took one innocuous comment, "Nice game, Mike," from Washington Bullets guard LaBradford Smith and turned it into fuel for a 47-point outing in the next meeting between the two teams.

To some extent, Profit was smart to get in his trash talk when he could. 

Plus, the trade was a shrewd piece of business for Washington. Profit never played for the Magic, while Haywood carved out a nice career in the NBA and spent nine seasons with the Wizards.