Russell Westbrook skipped Michael Jordan’s meeting for a pickup game


Retrieved 22 April 2020, 15:44 IST

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Michael Jordan made the move for the Chicago Bulls in 1997

When he was a kid, Russell Westbrook missed the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan while he was busy playing basketball.

Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls, with whom he won six NBA championships, are back in public focus due to the new ten-party documentary ‘The Last Dance’.

Houston Rockets guard Westbrook attended one of Jordan’s basketball camps during his formative years and detailed how he snowballed from the five-time NBA MVP.

“The first time I got a chance to meet Michael Jordan … I was probably about ten or four years old. I went to Michael Jordan camp. My parents sent me to his camp in Santa Barbara,” Westbrook told NBC’s Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

“At the end of the camp, usually every kid in each team comes up with something to sign for Michael Jordan. You have to stand in line and be ready to go.

“When my team was ready to sign a basketball – my parents gave me a basketball to sign – I don’t know why, I didn’t know what I was thinking, but when my team and my time were, I was in the middle of a game. I was playing pickup with other kids.

“My coach was like, ‘Come on, come on, come on. You lose the chance to take a picture with Michael Jordan and an autograph with him.’ By myself, I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine, I don’t need it right now.’

“So I didn’t get a picture with Michael Jordan, didn’t get an autograph. I literally didn’t get the line. I just kept playing basketball, hooping.

“When the camp was over and I returned home, my uncle and father were like, ‘Have you signed the ball?’ I was literally like, ‘No, I was playing a pickup game.’ At this point, it didn’t click on me. “

The Rocket star signed with Jordan Brand in 2013, with Westbrook’s decision seemingly having no effect on their relationship.