Michael Jordan went viral in June for not allowing a young fan to get a picture of him in the Charlotte Hornets team parking garage.
The young lad was actually hoping to see rising Hornets star lLaMelo Ball, but with the player nowhere in sight, the six-time NBA champion and NBA GOAT appeared. It would have been the best consolation prize in history, but His Airness basically shut the request down to pretty quickly.
Here’s the exchange between MJ and the kid.
“We gonna see LaMelo Ball. That’s not LaMelo, that’s Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan! Can I get a pic? Michael, let’s gooo!”
They wanted to see LaMelo but caught Michael Jordan instead 😅
(via steve4pf_/IG, mic4pf/IG) pic.twitter.com/jMCjs4p55u
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 22, 2022
Jordan didn’t seem too interested in being bothered, from his reaction to the kid yelling his name and asking for a pic.
MJ took a beating in the media for his treatment of the kids as well. But things have a way of working themselves out. The young man who was shunned by Jordan did get actually get a chance to meet Melo Ball, the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year, at a nearby mall in Charlotte.
Ball was amused upon finding out he was meeting the same boy and his friend who went viral in the Jordan video.
“Tell me if you’ve seen the video … I was looking for you and I seen Michael Jordan,” the fan asked.
“That was your ass?? Nah.”
He finally got to meet LaMelo after MJ denied him a month ago 😂
(via playyboishi, steve4pf_, mic4pf/IG) pic.twitter.com/5y9RQ1Ya0j
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 21, 2022
It was great that Ball took a pic with the youngins, as Jordan sort of displayed his distant and at times curmudgeonly ways. It’s kind of a catch-22, because Jordan is well aware that fans idolize him and lose their marbles when they encounter him, but it’s about safety.
That Wasn’t The First Time MJ Said “F- Them Kids” | Ball Is A Happy-Go-Lucky 20-Year-Old
MJ seems to carry that same competitive edge and fire after all these years of being retired from the NBA. While Ball is this spry young 20-year-old who’s living out his dream of being an NBA player.
And he’s doing so as the franchise player for a team owned by the greatest player to ever lace them up.
That isn’t the first time MJ denied children something. In 2016, during his annual Flight School basketball camp for kids, MJ was issued a challenge by NBA star Chris Paul.
The aforementioned Paul, who is a member of the iconic Jordan Brand, said if MJ missed three shots in a shootout all the campers would receive a free pair of his Air Jordan sneakers. Jordan made every shot, subsequently denying the campers those free shoes.
Hornets Have Shown Promise: But Miles Bridges Legal Matters Could Derail Franchise
Since the arrival of Ball, the Hornets have shown some promise, making it to the NBA playoffs play-in tournament both seasons. While they haven’t yet qualified for one of the the top eight seeds, the growth is evident. With Ball filling up the stat sheet in a variety of ways, and guard Terry Rozier making big shots with regularity, plus leading scorer Miles Bridges showing that lead dog ability, the team looked to be turning the corner. That was until Bridges was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence and child abuse. If convicted he could face nearly twelve years in prison.
Now, MJ and the team’s brass may have to divert their resources into getting some new help for Ball and Rozier