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“Lot of kids wearing Michael Jordan shirts”: Shaquille O’Neal’s teammate once claimed $10,000,000 star would succeed MJ after shock 1993 departure

Nithin Joseph

“Lot of kids wearing Michael Jordan shirts”: Shaquille O’Neal’s teammate once claimed $10,000,000 star would succeed MJ after shock 1993 departure

In 1993, the NBA was faced with a huge problem. Michael Jordan had just retired and filling the huge void he left seemed like a daunting task for the league. So, with everyone wondering what exactly the future of the NBA looked like, some superstars started to share their opinions. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Shaquille O’Neal’s former teammate Rick Fox believed Larry Johnson would be the next big thing, simply based on the fact that Grandmama’s jersey sales outnumbered even MJ’s.

Unfortunately, despite Fox’s interesting prediction, Johnson never lived up to the billing. And, while he did have a lot of big contracts, the Hornets legend didn’t even measure up to Jordan financially. Seeing as his net worth only amounts to $10 million in comparison to His Airness’ $2 billion.

Shaquille O’Neal’s teammate Rick Fox once claimed Larry Johnson was the heir apparent to Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan was undoubtedly the greatest player in the league back in 1993. So, when he decided to retire and take up baseball, the NBA was left in a lurch. They were in desperate need to find a new star, and there were several candidates. But, one particular player stood out to Shaquille O’Neal’s former teammate, Rick Fox.

Fox, who played with both the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers before starting a career in Hollywood believed Larry Johnson was next in line. Following Jordan’s departure from the league, Fox held a basketball camp, and what he saw convinced him that the NBA’s future was secure.

The summer camp in question was attended by quite a few children. And while there were a lot of MJ jerseys in the crowd, the Candian baller-turned-actor saw that the Larry Johnson jerseys outnumbered those of His Airness. Something that told him Grandmama would probably become the next big thing in the world of basketball.

“‘To be the really big star, you have to be able to combine what you do on and off the court,’ says Celtic forward Rick Fox. ‘Larry Johnson is in a perfect position. He’s definitely a great player, and people have really embraced Grandmama. At the camp I ran this summer there were a lot of kids wearing Michael Jordan shirts, but I wasn’t expecting as many kids as I saw wearing Larry Johnson shirts. The kids are the ones who grab on to these guys, so they’re probably the best measuring stick of who’s going to move into Michael’s place.'”

However, things didn’t go as Fox predicted. While Johnson was a great player, he never amounted to much. And, he certainly wasn’t the one to replace Jordan.

Despite appearing in Space Jam alongside Jordan, Larry Johnson only has a net worth of $10,000,000

Larry Johnson was quite the player back in his day, and even Michael Jordan knew it. Johnson was even featured in MJ’s movie Space Jam, where he was one of the five NBA superstars to have his skills stolen. But, despite all his initial success, the 1992 Rookie of the Year never lived up to expectations.

And, while he did earn a staggering $83 million during his 11 seasons in the NBA, he now only has a net worth of $10 million.

At the end of the day, regardless of his achievements or lack thereof, Johnson had a great career. Even if he didn’t replace Jordan as the face of the NBA, he is still a legend of the game.

About the author

Nithin Joseph

Nithin Joseph


Nithin is a content writer at The SportsRush. Like his favorite athlete Kobe Bryant, the company has helped Nithin elevate his writing skills to a whole new level, especially as an NBA content writer. With over 1500 articles to his name, Nithin's love for the sport knows no bounds. And, as he continues to watch the sport on a daily basis, he hopes his fascination with the NBA, especially the Miami Heat will inspire more and more readers to give the sport a chance. Perhaps, one day making basketball in India as big as it is in the United States.

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