Before the NBA was dominated by Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls, Magic Johnson and his longtime rival Larry Bird ruled the league. Johnson and Bird combined to win eight championships during the 1980s, before Jordan and the Bulls had even reached the Finals. Ultimately, the '90s rolled around, and the tide began to turn. Jordan led the Bulls to their first title in 1991, and then another in 1992. By that time, Jordan was the face of the NBA, and was widely viewed as the best player on the planet. 

After the 1992 season, Jordan joined Johnson, Bird and a plethora of other future Hall of Famers on Team USA's "Dream Team" in Barcelona. By the time those Olympics were over, Jordan had left no doubt -- even among his peers -- who the top dog was in the NBA. Making an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" on Monday morning, Johnson discussed the exact moment that he and Bird realized that it was time to pass the NBA's metaphorical torch down to Jordan. That moment, as it turns out, came during an intersquad scrimmage. 

"[Our team] got out on [Michael's team] by 10, 12 points, you know. And so, you know, I had to make Michael go to the 'Air Jordan' level," Johnson said. "So I said, 'OK, I'm gonna go here and talk a little trash to him and see what's going to happen' right? And this is when the torch got passed. So I said, 'Look, M.J., if you don't turn into Air Jordan we're gonna blow you guys out.' I've never seen a man take something so personal and then go out there and just take that scrimmage over. It was amazing to see him come out and just dominate, and I'm talking about dominate the best in the game. And that's when we knew that the torch was being passed from myself and Larry onto Michael." 

Jordan was good enough to let his game do his talking for him, but that never stopped him from doing some actual talking, too. After the scrimmage, Jordan let Johnson and Bird know that he had reached the mountain top, passing them in the process. 

"But I'm gonna tell you the moment that really got us," Johnson continued. "So, we got back to the hotel, right. And so, the NBA had built a nice lounge for the players. And so, Michael's up there and he's smoking on his cigar. Larry and I just sitting there, having a Coke or whatever. And he says, 'Guys,' and he put his hand on my shoulder, put his hand on Larry's shoulder. And said, 'Guys, there's a new sheriff in town.' And so we was like, 'Oh man, what can we say?' We said, 'You know what? You're right, it's your league now.'" 

In reality, Jordan had taken the torch -- or title of game's greatest -- before the '92 Olympics. If anything, his performance in Barcelona, even in practices, cemented his status as the best player on the planet, and also forced his notoriously competitive peers to admit that they had been bested.