Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan is God to so many basketball players who have come after him. Basically, every player who meets Jordan for the first time is in awe of his presence and can barely muster up the courage to say something to the six-time NBA champion.
For one player, who happens to be one of the tallest players in NBA history, Michael Jordan made him so nervous that he completely forgot how to shoot a basketball.
Why was Michael Jordan so intimidating?
Michael Jordan may be the most intimidating player in NBA history. Not only were his opponents scared of him, but Jordan’s Bulls teammates feared him as well.
No one worked harder than Jordan, so he expected his teammates to work just as hard as him and play nearly perfect basketball. The six-time Finals MVP never shied away from challenging his teammates and calling them out. He famously punched Steve Kerr and Will Perdue and routinely yelled at teammates.
Jordan didn’t lead the Bulls to six championships in eight years by being a nice guy. He’s arguably the most competitive player in sports history and would do everything it takes to win, even if he had to do it by himself.
Going 6-0 in the Finals and winning all six Finals MVPs made Jordan the GOAT. The players who played in the NBA after Jordan retired for the final time when he was with the Washington Wizards all wanted to play like MJ and looked up to him.
Meeting Michael Jordan is a dream come true for every basketball player. However, some guys get so nervous around His Airness that they forget how to play the game.
Michael Jordan made Yao Ming very nervous
When Yao Ming met Michael Jordan for the first time at Jordan’s basketball camp, he was extremely nervous around MJ. Jordan called up kids for a shooting drill for a chance to win some shoes, and Ming forgot how to shoot because he was so anxious being around MJ.
Ming was eliminated from the contest after missing two shots in a row. The winner of the drill had to make five shots and couldn’t miss two consecutive shots. Ming was an exceptional shooter, but he couldn’t get his shooting form down since he was tense being around Jordan.
Ming’s first All-Star Game in the NBA ended up being Michael Jordan’s final one. At 7-foot-6, Ming is one of the tallest people in the world. He appeared in 486 games with the Houston Rockets and averaged 19.0 points and 9.2 rebounds.
Due to foot problems, Yao Ming had to retire from the NBA early. He finished his playing career as an eight-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
MJ’s basketball career was beyond belief
Michael Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists during his NBA career. Along with his six titles and six Finals MVPs, MJ won five regular-season MVPs and 10 scoring titles.
During the 1987-88 season, Jordan won MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. Only two other players have accomplished that feat (Hakeem Olajuwon, Giannis Antetokounmpo).
Michael Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. He’s such an icon that the Miami Heat retired the No. 23 out of respect to MJ.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.