There is no question that Michael Jordan is one of the most intimidating figures in NBA history. He was never the biggest or strongest guy, but his unmatched competitive spirit and crazy look simply scared everyone who went up against him and even played with him. The fact he was better than everybody else made him comfortable to be cocky and confident around his peers, often trash-talking and disrespecting opponents, but back in 1996, MJ messed with the wrong guy.
Mark Henry is the wrong guy to disrespect
Before he became a household name in showbusiness by competing in the WWE, Mark Henry was a legit Olympian, representing the United States in weightlifting at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Transitioning from powerlifting, Henry's huge frame and muscular physique made him a scary sight to see, as he was labeled one of the strongest people in the world for quite a bit.
Henry was friends with a couple of NBA superstars like Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, as he naturally hung out with them during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Michael Jordan was not a part of that team, but he still came to town to hang out with the other stars, watch the games, and have some fun. It would lead to Henry and MJ actually meeting for the first time, but things got heated fast after Jordan nonchalantly disrespected Henry :
"At the 1996 Olympics, I was friends with Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, David Robinson. I knew guys on the team personally. I went to the hotel with Charles. As we're in the lobby, Michael walks up. It's not, 'Hey, how are you doing guys…?' It was was, 'Who are you?' I said, 'Who the fuck are you?' And that was the introduction. Charles was like, 'Ohhhhhh.'"
Mark Henry, Busted Open
Although Henry was standing out with his figure amongst all the NBA players and MJ didn't legit know who he was, the tone with which Jordan asked who Henry was didn't sit well with the weight-lifter. So he made sure to check Jordan and put him in his place, with Charles playing peace-maker between the two:
"It didn't matter [that I knew him]. It was the… You don't walk up to Mark Henry and talk to me like I'm some kind of peon. I was somebody in the world. Maybe I didn't make the money you made, people don't know my name, I don't sell a billion dollars in shoes. But I'm Mark Henry. And if I wanted to snuff your lights out, I would do it in a heartbeat. Charles smoothed it over. [Michael] was like, 'My bad, I didn't want to come across like that.' But he did. Of course, he smoothed it over and said he wasn't trying to disrespect me...I put him in his place,".
Mark Henry, Busted Open
Jordan is not one to back down, but even he realized that Mark Henry is the wrong guy to mess with, as he soon apologized and even invited him to his birthday party. Seeing a 6'4'', 360 lbs guy get mad at you makes anyone rethink their mind, as the GOAT knew this is not the basketball court. This guy will beat you up, and he made sure to make amends with him. Nowadays, Henry thinks of the story in good nature, but I think Jordan definitely doesn't recall that day with too much joy.