Everyone in the NBA community, no matter who it is that had the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan, will forever cherish that moment. Many of those encounters are different, and everybody has a story on how they met Jordan, and former NBA player Larry Johnson recently shared his, and we are not disappointed.
While making an appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast featuring Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson, Johnson talked about his first time meeting Jordan during his first game against the Chicago Bulls in 1991, when he was still a rookie. By then, Jordan was already a superstar, while Larry was the up-and-coming young star from UNVL, ready to make a name for himself in the big boys league.
Jordan was also a tremendous trash-talkers that he showcased numerous times against pretty much anybody he wanted to remove mentally from the game. Larry was also a big name coming into the NBA, and Jordan approached him with what he described as ‘some bullshit’.
He did some bullshit. The first time I met him, he walked out on the court, and he walked straight up to me and go ‘How’s Dorothy’? That is my mom. I couldn’t play the whole game. You got me; you got me. You got me with that bullshit. He walked up to me and asked me how’s my mom, man. Used her name, used her name. He done went in the program and saw my mom’s name is Dorothy. I think I scored 8 points that game. Mike asked about my mom. He got me.Larry Johnson, via Knuckleheads
Looking back now, 30 years after that moment, Johnson can’t help to laugh because he knows Jordan used one of the oldest tricks in the book of ‘trash talking. He talked about his mom, but he didn’t say anything mean or used any profanity. That is all it took to take Larry out of the game, which he admitted happened.
Johnson shouldn’t have fallen for that trick, but that is also a big part of the learning experience when you’re an NBA rookie. It didn’t take long for Johnson to establish himself as one of the toughest and most talented forwards in the league. Still, for that brief moment when he interacted with Jordan, he was able to see how Jordan manipulates the game without even playing basketball which is one of the reasons why many consider him to be the GOAT.
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