‘Never Going to Wash Our Hands’: Former NHL Star Recalls How Michael Jordan Surprised Him

Published 04/23/2021, 6:06 AM EDT
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)


Michael Jordan had a legendary aura. The Chicago Bulls superstar helped revolutionize the game of basketball during his stint. Jordan has a huge part in making the NBA as popular as it is today. Since he entered the league, he mesmerized people with his ability to do things with a basketball that no one ever had. Even athletes during his time were mesmerized by his presence.

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Former NHL star interacts with Michael Jordan

Former NHL star, David Maley, spoke about meeting Michael Jordan for the first time. He and his teammates had got tickets for a Chicago Bulls game, and Maley recalled how well Jordan played. But after the game, MJ came and greeted the players, even recognizing them from afar. Maley was awestruck at the sight of ‘His Airness’ and he said:

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“Anyway, long story short, Michael had, I think, 40 points in the first half… As he comes out of the game, he’s walking down sweating like crazy, and he sees Doug Wilson — and me and Patty Falloon are in awe —  and he yells, ‘Hey, Willie! What’s going on?’ He leans over to give (Wilson) a high-five and says, ‘Talk to you after the game,’ and me and Patty Falloon were like two little kids.”

Basketball player Michael Jordan clenches his fist while sitting on the bench during a game at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. (Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Maley then talked about waiting in the arena after the game until Jordan had someone bring them in. He thought that he would get to meet the entire Chicago Bulls team. But it was just Jordan in the locker room, and he was conversing with them about their season. Maley was shocked to know that Jordan kept up with their team.

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Maley said, “So, we sat and waited for about an hour after the game and the PR guy said that we could go in the locker room — same locker room we were going to be in the next night — and I thought there’d be a bunch of guys there but it was just Michael. Just him. And after he says, ‘What’s up, Willie,’ the first thing he says is, ‘Man, you guys aren’t doing too good.’ I was, like, ‘Michael Jordan knows what we’re doing?’”

Mike made David Maley’s night

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Maley revealed that he and his teammates spent a long time conversing with Jordan, and it was an incredible experience for him. He said, “So, we just sat there, talked for a bit. I mean, me and Patty didn’t say much aside from hello because Doug introduced us. So, afterward, me and Patty were high-fiving and saying that we’re never going to wash our hands again and hoping that after the next game, we might get some luck.”

18 Jan 1999: Michael Jordan at his retirement press conference at the United Center in Chicago, Illinios. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
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Michael Jordan made even the most famous go star-struck in front of him, such was the power of MJ at his peak. Jordan was a transcendent player, the likes of which the NBA has never seen, or likely will never see again. The aura of celebrity that Jordan has around him is still insurmountable.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1201 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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