Skip to main content

Larry Johnson describes his first encounter with Michael Jordan: "He did some bulls**t"

Larry Johnson will never forget the trash-talking from Michael Jordan in the first game they played against each other
Larry Johnson describes his first encounter with Michael Jordan: "He did some bulls**t"

Larry told the story of the first time he met Michael Jordan, and of course, just like every MJ story, Larry didn't disappoint.

The '90s were a golden era of NBA basketball because we had so many great players and teams we don't even talk about anymore. Of course, we all know about Jordan, Barkley, Hakeem, Malone, and other superstars. But what about the great players that got left behind in the center of attention even though they were unbelievable talents? One of those guys is most definitely Larry Johnson.

Larry Johnson made an impact early on in his career

Larry Johnson, known for his unique nickname "Grandmama," was one of the most explosive and dominant power forwards of the '90s. Even though he was just 6'6'', Larry used his strength and agility to punish the basket and was known as one of the most terrifying players of that era. During his 10-year career, Johnson represented the Hornets and the Knicks, winning the ROY award and notching 2x All-Star appearances. His best season came in 1995, in his last season with the Hornets, averaging 20.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, and 4.4 apg. If you want a comparison with a modern-day player, it is scary how much Larry resembles Zion in how they play and look on the court.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Since Larry played in the '90s, he never managed to go all the way with his teams, even though he played with some pretty good groups of players in his career. So considering he was in his prime while Michael Jordan was winning all of his six championships, it was only natural Larry encountered MJ numerous times in the Eastern Conference. Larry told the story of the first time he met Michael Jordan while talking with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the Knucklehead podcast, and of course, just like every MJ story, Larry didn't disappoint.

Who does that? 

"He did some bulls--t. The first time I met him, it was on the court. And he walk straight up to me and go: 'How's Dorothy?'...That's my mom. Oh, s--t she alright. I couldn't play the whole game. You got me, you got me. He walk up to me and ask me how my mom was. Who does that?... I think I scored 8 points, and I was averaging 24."

Larry Johnson, The Knuckleheads Podcast

You know it's serious when moms are involved, but MJ went in another direction. Michael was known as one of the kings of trash-talking and mind games. Sometimes he would be more vocal and direct, but in instances like this, Jordan was simple but effective, throwing Larry off his game because he was thinking about how Michael asked about his mom. Just another classic example of why Jordan is the GOAT on the basketball court and in the art of getting into your opponent's head. 

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings goes off on the state of the NBA - “It’s only a couple of guys in the NBA that love the game”

Jennings' opinions are certainly divisive, but it's clear that without change the NBA would get stale, and that's why it's necessary to continue exploring ways to evolve the game

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan’s secret tattoo and the meaning behind it revealed

It's barely visible and not something MJ liked to talk about.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Zach Snyder on directing Michael Jordan in "Playground" — “He’s a natural.”

One went on to make Space Jam, the other 300, Justice League, Army of the Dead, Man of Steel, Watchmen, and Dawn of the Dead. Two great movie careers, starting in 1990.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and team president Pat Riley

The moment Pat Riley should've known LeBron James would one day leave Miami

Upon his arrival to Miami, LeBron made a request that should've let Riley know a new era was coming.

Dennis Rodman

How Dennis Rodman's gay bar double-date led to the Chicago Bulls winning the 1996 NBA Championship

Remember Jack Haley? It turns out he was crucial for the Bulls winning in 1996 because he was “the only person who speaks fluent Rodman,” and knew how to convince Dennis not to quit the team before Game 6 of the Finals.

Detroit Pistons center Bill Laimbeer and guard Isiah Thomas

“I don't need to take that s**t!” — when Isiah Thomas broke his hand after punching Bill Laimbeer

Isiah Thomas punched Bill Laimbeer so hard he broke his hand during one of Detroit Pistons' practices.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

“I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter (era)” — Michael Jordan on social media and cancel culture

There's no hand-checking and hard fouls in 2022. But there's Twitter, political correctness and almost no privacy whatsoever.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Remember when KCP played with an ankle monitor?

In terms of serving time, continuing to play games while in prison is not that bad.