When a rookie Chauncey Billups was overwhelmed with the presence of Michael Jordan and the legend asked him about it.
There is no denying that Michael Jordan is one of the biggest sporting personalities in the world. It’s been almost two decades since the 6x NBA champion retired. However, his iconic stories and narratives never get old.
MJ’s larger-than-life personality even had the basketball pros in awe of him. One such NBA player was Chauncey Billups, who couldn’t help but stare at his Airness when he faced him for the first time.
In the past as well many players such as Allen Iverson and Al Harrington have been awestruck with the presence of MJ. The Bulls legend was an idol for many players while growing up.
Former NBA champion Chauncey Billups shares an embarrassing moment that he had with MJ. The former Pistons star couldn’t hide his fan moment.
Chauncey Billups was in complete awe of Michael Jordan.
While Billups was making his NBA debut, MJ was at the peak of his prime coming off, with 4 NBA championships and Finals MVP awards. The 10x scoring champion had already established himself as a living legend.
Thus when Billups faced Jordan for the first time, he couldn’t hide his fan moment and wouldn’t stop admiring the Bulls superstar. While talking about his first encounter with Jordan to the Athletic, Billups said,
You gotta think, shoot, I come from a few months before that having Michael Jordan posters in my dorm room, and then my very first game is against Jordan and the Bulls,” the guard explained in The Athletic. “I’m in Boston, and we are playing the Bulls at home. I mean, like anybody else, I was in awe. I really was, I was in awe watching him.
Billups stood at the line while Dennis Rodman shot his free throws. However, the 5x All-Star couldn’t help but notice MJ.
Well, it was like, Steve Kerr was on the right side of me, and it was me, and then about five, six feet away it was MJ, and then on the other side of him was Ron Mercer, my other rookie buddy,” Billups continued. “So, I’m kind of leaning over, grabbing my shorts on my knees a little bit, and I just, I can’t stop looking at this dude. And I’m looking over to the left, I look a little bit past him. Ron Mercer is looking over to the right.
MJ, who was known to carry his heart on his sleeve, couldn’t help but call the rookie out for his behavior.
And out of nowhere, I hear this deep voice say, ‘What the hell you looking at young fella?’ And so literally me and Ron both, on cue, looked off, we both looked off like we weren’t looking at him. said Billups
Nevertheless, the fandom didn’t last for very long as Billups soon learned the ropes and would go on to become a successful point guard in the league. Billups would win his first NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons and be crowned Finals MVP.
The point guard averaged 21.0 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 1.2 SPG on a 50.9% shooting from the field and 47.1% from the 3-point line during the 2004 NBA Finals.