Just being in the presence of Michael Jordan once made NBA great Yao Ming completely forget how to shoot from the free-throw line.
Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest player to ever grace the court, and justifiably so. The former player accumulated a long list of achievements throughout his career, including 6 NBA championships and 5 MVPs.
Needless to say, when you are one of the best players to do ever do it, you will intimidate other people. And it seems Yao Ming knew from firsthand experience that the great Jordan was not an exception at all.
Here is the story of a hilarious incident between the two players that occurred way back in the day.
Yao Ming embarrassed himself in a shooting competition in the presence of Michael Jordan
Yao Ming first met Michael Jordan at a basketball camp held by the latter. And as anybody would have been, Ming was incredibly nervous at the time, something that exposed itself very soon.
During the camp, His Airness called all of the camp’s participants to a shooting competition. The rules were that if you make five free throws in a row. But, if the participants missed two shots in a row, they would be eliminated.
The award for this drill you ask?
A free, brand new pair of shoes from Michael Jordan’s line, given to them personally by the man himself. So, it would be fair to say that the stakes were sky-high.
It’s been 26 years since Michael Jordan used two words to announce his NBA return 👏 pic.twitter.com/dDYKRDHpiP
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 18, 2021
Unfortunately, it seems Yao Ming was swallowed whole by the occasion. He was so nervous in the presence of Jordan, that he seemingly forgot how to shoot. And as a result, after badly missing two free throws in a row, he was eliminated.
Ming of course went on to have an incredible career and was by far one of the most skilled big men fans had ever seen. However, it is refreshing to hear such humanizing stories about one of the greatest ever to play the sport.