No matter your opinion on certain players, it's just a fact that not all NBA stars are equal. For Michael Jeffrey Jordan, he was a player who was set apart from the rest and knew dominance like nobody else.
During the height of his powers in the 90s, his fame and popularity grew so large that it transcended the sport itself, making MJ a literal cultural icon before he retired for the second time in the early 2000s.
Under those conditions, it makes sense that Jordan has become the NBA's biggest celebrity. So much so, in fact, that other celebrities are nervous to meet him.
In an appearance on NBA Today this week, Mavericks star Luka Doncic became the topic of conversation when he detailed his own encounter with MJ, telling ESPN's Malika Andrews what it was like the first time they met.
“I met him at my first All-Star,” Luka said. “I think it was some celebration of something. I don’t know, but I was too nervous. I didn’t know what to say.
“Yeah, I was just saying, ‘Hi.’ Then, ‘How are you?’ I think. Something like that.”
Despite the awkward first meeting, Luka and Jordan are actually pretty close today. They were caught sharing a moment at the 2022 All-Star game, and it's no secret that they share a profound amount of respect for each other.
Luka Doncic Is Not The Only Superstar To Admit His Anxiety Before Meeting Michael Jordan For The First Time
Luka might also be happy to know that he's not alone in his experience. Many others, just like him, embarrassed themselves in front of Mike. One example is Jayson Tatum, who recently told his story to the world.
“I got a funny story," said Tatum. "We was in Paris and I met MJ earlier this morning. It’s an introduction (to the Jordan brand) and I did a bunch of media. And then that night we had a dinner. So it was like, Melo was there, Blake was there, Russ, Spike Lee, everybody was there. I remember, I walk in and I’m still nervous. MJ’s sitting down, his wife next to him, and Spike next to her. I walk over to him and like my hand starts sweating. And I was like, ‘What’s up, Mike?’ And when I went to go shake his hand, I knocked over his wine glass on the table and it broke. And I was like, ‘Oh, let me get a napkin, let me help you out’. He was like, ‘Young fella, it’s cool, it’s good, you all right’. I turned throughout like, ‘Yo, I’m tripping.’”
Some nervousness seems to follow whenever you meet NBA royalty, but it's something that players usually get over. Despite his fame and riches, Jordan is (allegedly) a pretty cool and down-to-earth dude. In time, anyone who really gets to know him won't have a reason to be nervous talking to him.
Still, those introductions can be nerve-racking, especially for young superstars with so much left to prove.