Before becoming a Grammy-winning hip-hop superstar, Common worked as a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls in the mid-80s. During this time, the great Michael Jordan had just come to town and immediately made his presence felt. It did not take long before kids and adults wanted their own Jordan memorabilia, be it in the form of a photo or an autograph.
You sign it!
In an interview with DJ Vlad, Common shared that one of his friends wanted to get that elusive Jordan autograph. One could assume that it would be a walk in the park since Jordan probably saw the young Common always running around. But, as it turned out, it isn't that easy getting His Airness' autograph.
"One time this kid, well I was a kid too, but he asked me to get Mike's autograph. I told him I will for $5. I went down and I was like 'Mike, can I get your autograph?' And he was like 'Man, you sign it!'"
"And so I signed it and gave it to the kid. The kid looked and was like 'This ain't Michael Jordan's autograph!' because I spelled Michael wrong."
It's a hilarious story in hindsight. Imagine a young Common trying his best to emulate Michael Jordan's signature. He probably got the penmanship right. But his syntax was what made him fall off the bridge.
Not the first time
Common is not alone in getting rejected by Jordan for an autograph. Sometime in the 2000s, fellow hip-hop star Chamillionaire once approached MJ for memorabilia in the form of a photo. Jordan did not just say no, he also asked Chamillionaire for $15,000.
These are two interesting cases, especially how different Jordan's status was. With Common, Jordan was just making a name for himself as a serious baller. With Chamillionaire, Jordan was known worldwide as a basketball icon and an important cultural figure. Some two decades set these events apart, but one thing remained the same: Jordan is not privy to giving out his signature.
Maybe these are isolated cases; perhaps Common and Chamillionaire just chanced upon a pissed-off Michael Jordan. On the contrary, there are many instances where MJ surprised some of his fans, played with them one-on-one, or gladly posed for a photo.
Whatever the case is, Common and Chamillionaire's stories somehow prove that celebrities also have their bad days like most of us. It would not be very reasonable to say that Jordan is a mean guy or hates signing stuff for rappers or any other individual.