With The Last Dance documentary in full swing, Klay Thompson, Vince Carter, Kemba Walker, Zach LaVine and Kendrick Nunn share their favourite Michael Jordan memories.
As today’s current stars attest, the influence of Michael Jordan and the legacy on the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty can still be felt around the modern-day NBA.
Jordan scored 42 points despite playing in shoes that were too small as he led the Bulls to victory over the Knicks on March 8, 1998 at Madison Square Garden
By 1998, Michael Jordan was a cultural icon and one of the most popular people on the planet. But his fame came at a price
What better way to whet your appetite for the next episodes of The Last Dance than by hearing more Jordan stories from five current NBA players?
Klay recalls childhood encounter with MJ
Golden State Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson recalls his favourite Michael Jordan moments
I don’t remember much from that night. It was 1997 or 1998, one of the last championships that Chicago team won together.
I do remember the hype and hysteria that came with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. I remember my dad taking us to the back, waiting in the tunnel. We wanted to see Scottie and Michael so badly. I don’t think I said a word.
The fact that I was able to be there and meet the legend himself was so motivating for me. I was able to tell all my friends about it when I went to school.
I will forever cherish that memory and I can always tell my peers I was able to meet Michael Jordan in his prime and see the Chicago Bulls play – it was a honour and something I’ll never forget.
Carter’s part in Jordan making All-Star history
Atlanta Hawks veteran star Vince Carter reflects on his favourite Michael Jordan moments
Being in the NBA for 22 years, I can say I got the opportunity to play against Michael Jordan and it was amazing, an opportunity that players in today’s game can’t say. His impact on the game and on players of today is well documented.
My story about MJ goes back to All-Star in Atlanta (in 2003). I was the leading vote-getter and I gave my starting position to MJ which he declined multiple times throughout the day. We go on and he accepts the starting position. He hits his historic fadeaway.
Any time that All-Star Game in played on TV or talked about, that memory sticks with me because it was historic in my mind and for all the fans watching to see MJ do his thing one more time in an All-Star Game.
Kemba: I emulated MJ as a kid and ended up playing for him
Boston Celtics All-Star guard Kemba Walker recalls his favourite Michael Jordan moments
I looked up to MJ when I was a young kid. I used to go to the park and be there alone, go up and down the court and try to hit last-second shots, trying to make as many as I could because that’s what MJ did. He made last-second shots, he made tough shots, he made game-winners. I wanted to do that.
He changed the game. He is one of the main reasons a lot of (current players) wanted to play the game growing up. He was super-fun to watch, super-competitive and he flew – truly amazing.
The current generation of NBA players, including LeBron James and Zion Williamson, reflect on their memories of Michael Jordan and the legacy he left the league
He also changed my life on draft night. Never in a million years did I think I would be playing for MJ and have a relationship with him (in Charlotte). But I did. He was like my big brother.
I appreciate him and I am very grateful to him for what he has done for me and my family and how he helped me progress through my career.
LaVine remembers statement Jordan dunk
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine recalls his favourite Michael Jordan moments
Growing up I was the biggest Michael Jordan fan. I watched all the tapes – ‘Come Fly With Me’, ‘To The Max’, ‘Michael Jordan’s Playground’.
Me now playing in Chicago now is crazy, seeing his (retired) jersey (in the rafters) and stuff like that.
My favourite MJ story is from a Bulls game against the Utah Jazz where he comes down and dunks on somebody. He got yelled at by a fan, a guy telling him to dunk on someone his own size.
How Michael was, next time he grabbed the ball and went and dunked on a seven-foot Jazz defender, gesturing ‘is that good enough’ to the crowd.
Everybody wanted to be like Mike. It’s just the way basketball is.
Kendrick recalls MJ ‘in the zone’ for Wizards
Miami Heat rookie guard Kendrick Nunn recalls his favourite Michael Jordan moments
One specific memory I have of Michael Jordan from my early years is him playing (for Washington) against the Charlotte Hornets in 2001.
I was six years old and it was around Christmas time. I was at home watching the game with my family.
He was just in the zone, getting to his spots in the mid-range, his footwork – everything was on point that night. He scored 51 points.