We all know that Michael Jordan's legend is huge and only a few players didn't feel intimidated by His Airness whenever he stepped foot on the court. Jordan was a total icon, even more during his active days, when every rookie looked up to him. That was the case of 2x NBA champion Ray Allen, who felt the pressure to play against Jordan as soon as in his second preseason game.
He was drafted in the 1996 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and one of their first preseason games was against MJ and his Bulls. Jordan had just won his 4th NBA ring and was starting the season where he would win the 5th. Of course, that's a lot to digest for a 21-year-old Allen, who still remembers the first time he faced the GOAT. During a recent appearance on the James Posey Podcast, Allen recalled that moment:
“My second game of my rookie year preseason, we played against the Bulls in 1997. So, Imagine that as a 21-year-old kid, you are playing against MJ. I was scared to death and in 97′, imagine hearing that theme song when he run down the floor and people they’re ready and waiting to watch the game.
“I’m on the floor stretching and he runs down the floor and I had to look up. It was like this is so surreal to me that I’m sitting on this court right now and I have watched this for the last 10 years of my life. So, I am like I am rooting for you against me.”
That is the Jordan effect. MJ is still a big idol in the league and young fans have started to notice why he is so great and so worshipped around the world. One of the greatest shooters of all time, Mr. Ray Allen, couldn't help but root for Jordan against himself. That should tell you how big this man was.
Now is Allen who serves as an inspiration for the youth. He was one of the greatest three-point shooters of all time and seeing the way the game is played now, kids don't only watch Stephen Curry; they also watch Ray Allen sinking shots like they were nothing.