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"I got so caught up in what he'd said that I forgot about guarding him" - When P.J. Brown lost focus because of what Michael Jordan told him

P.J was so moved that he forgot they were in an actual game for a second.
Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan in 1996

Michael Jordan

NBA teams hand out massive offers to their best assets—normally, the key figures on the team get this privilege for specific reasons. However, there are also a few role players who were fortunate enough to be offered a huge contract. Take former Miami Heat power forward P.J. Brown as an example.

MJ got P.J. lost

Many may not know this, but Brown inked a staggering $36 million, seven-year contract extension with the Heat in 1997. Looking back on it, that was a lot of money, considering Brown never even earned a single All-Star to his name.

P.J. was well aware of his extension raising a lot of eyebrows at the time. However, he felt secure and confident when Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time, mentioned his new deal mid-game.

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It was music to Brown’s ears. He was so moved that he forgot they were in an actual game for a second.

"At the time a lot of people were saying, 'Who the hell is P.J. Brown, and how can he be worth this kind of money?'" Brown told Sports Illustrated. "But then the best player in basketball--who for a long time was also one of the game's most underpaid--was standing next to me, congratulating me on my deal. That straightened everything out for me pretty quick right there."

"I got so caught up in what he'd said that I forgot about guarding him. I had to get back on defense," Brown added.

Pat knows an exceptional player when he sees one

Jordan may have acknowledged it, but on the other hand, naysayers also have a point in questioning the Heat’s decision to splurge such an insane amount of money on Brown, whom many reckoned as a borderline mediocre big man.

Despite the criticisms, then-Heat head coach Pat Riley argued there was no more well-rounded defensive four in the league at the time than “Big Cat.” So, regardless of what people say, Brown was a bang for the buck.

"There is not a better defensive power forward in the league night in and night out," Riley said of Brown. "A guy like that is one of the most valuable players to any team in the league. He does the little things that win games, and he does them selflessly."

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