Michael Jordan Had an NBA Player “Scared to Death”: “It Starts to Get Ugly…He Dapped Me on the Leg and Said Watch This Young Fella”

Published 06/21/2023, 2:10 PM EDT

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It was not easy guarding Michael Jordan on the basketball court. However, in the late 90s, MJ was on another level, as he struck fear in anyone who had the misfortune of guarding His Airness. During a recent episode of the Rookie Life podcast, a former NBA legend shared his experience on the court back from his day. He opened up about his unforgettable encounter with the legendary Michael Jordan, revealing a side of MJ that left him both in awe and intimidated.

Let’s dig into his story and find out what it was like to face the onslaught.

An unforgettable night for a rookie


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Ryan Hollins sat down with Maurice Taylor on his podcast to dig into some epic memories, including Taylor’s encounter with the legendary Michael Jordan during his early playing years. Picture this: Taylor, a rookie player, steps onto the court with a mix of excitement and nerves, knowing he has the daunting task of guarding the basketball icon himself. Talk about pressure!

But here’s the twist—Taylor and his teammates actually managed to keep Jordan in check during the first half of the game.


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However, things took a turn at the free-throw line. That’s where Jordan, the master of mind games, decided to work his magic. After missing the first free throw, he didn’t get discouraged. Nope. Instead, he turned to Taylor with a mischievous smirk, tapped him on the leg, and dropped those now-legendary words, “Watch this young fella.”

Well, the rest is history. Man, you can only imagine the effect that had on Taylor. The shivers down his spine were real. It was like a switch had been flipped, and suddenly, Jordan unleashed his full arsenal on the court. The tide had turned, and the game would never be the same.

The unstoppable Michael Jordan


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When that second half rolled around, MJ unleashed an absolute beast mode on the court. Maurice adds, “It starts to get ugly.” Taylor, just like countless others, got a firsthand taste of the sheer force and dominance Jordan brought to the game. It was like trying to contain a hurricane!

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Maurice Taylor’s encounter with Michael Jordan is one for the books. It’s a testament to the legend and the impact that MJ had on his opponents, making even seasoned players feel “scared to death” and in complete awe of his abilities.


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Taylor, like many others, initially relished the chance to prove himself against one of the best. But as the game progressed, he quickly realized the monumental challenge that came with guarding a player of Jordan’s caliber. What do you think about the countless rookies MJ has put the fear in? Let us know in the comments!


Written by:

Yusuf Khan


One take at a time

Yusuf is an NBA content writer at EssentiallySports. Yusuf has been an NBA fanatic since his childhood days. NBA experts such as Chris Haynes and Shams Charania are his go-to sources to stay updated about all the inside scoops from the hoop world.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor