Michael Jordan knows that when you have a reputation for being the greatest player of all time, people are going to try knocking you off that perch. And when those people come after you talking trash, sometimes you have to teach them a lesson. That’s exactly what happened between Jordan and current NBA player OJ Mayo.
In an interview to promote the launch of NBA 2K14, Jordan shared a story about how Mayo, who was a top high school player at the time, talked a ton of trash to him at his basketball camp. MJ decided to teach the youngster a lesson.
“My game always did my talking, I never said anything. I’m playing in my camp against OJ Mayo — he was a top high school kid coming out. I had never met him — first time. In front of my camp, he starts this thing about ‘you can’t guard me, you can’t do this.’ I got my campers here, so I obviously can’t really can’t go where I want to go because I own my camp,” Jordan recalled.
“So I stop the camp, send the kids to bed. We go back to playing, and he starts his whole thing ‘you can’t guard me.’ Finally I just said ‘you may be the best high school player, but I’m the best player in the world.’ So from this point on, it’s a lesson. And from that point on, it was a lesson. He never won a game. I posted him up, I did everything,” said Jordan.
“If I can ever show you that film, and if you can ever ask him, ask him about the things that happened at my camp.
“I don’t consider that trash, I consider that fact.”
Is that a great story or what? Think about how cocky Mayo must have been at the time. Mayo was Mr. Basketball in Ohio two years in a row and developed a huge reputation for being a star player. He was state player of the year when he played his senior season in West Virginia. He would have gone straight from high school to the NBA if the league didn’t change the rule that forced players to go to college first.
If this took place in 2007, MJ, who is 50 now, might have been around 44 or 45 when this happened. Jordan hadn’t played in the NBA since the 2002-2003 season, but he was still good enough to shut up a young dude like Mayo. Classic MJ. I’d love to hear Mayo’s take on it too.
UPDATE: We now have video of the game and comments from Mayo.Google+