How Larry Bird creepily introduced himself to a young Michael Jordan

Larry Legend tried to attack Michael Jordan during their first meeting.

The 1980s was the era of two NBA legends, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Although Michael Jordan was beginning to make a name for himself in college, he was still far from becoming “Air Jordan.” But Bird knew it was only a matter of time before Jordan joined their ranks, and he worked to make his presence felt.

Former Sports Illustrated writer Curry Kirkpatrick once talked about Bird and Jordan’s first interaction. The event was an exhibition game between an Olympic-bound men’s basketball team, which at the time was made up of college players, and a team of NBA players led by Bird, Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Bill Walton, to name a few.

Show Jordan who’s the man

Kirkpatrick said both teams were warming up when a student player’s ball bounced toward the professional player. “At the beginning of warmups, the ball bounced from the student side of the hall to the pro side. Then Michael Jordan went after him,” Kirkpatrick said. “Larry Bird was supposed to get the ball, and Michael walked a few yards and held out his hand, and Bird took the ball and threw it back over Jordan’s head, as if to say, ‘You know what? It doesn’t matter who you are, you just don’t have this ball.

dominated by university students

The team, which also included Chris Mullin, Sam Perkins and Patrick Ewing, was unfazed by the pros’ antics and won all eight games in the exhibition series. It was a harbinger of things to come. Jordan led his team to a gold medal in his 1984 Olympics and received the award from the Chicago Bulls shortly thereafter, becoming arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

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