‘No You’ll Mess it Up’: Dallas Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson Recalls How He Declined Michael Jordan’s Autograph Jersey

Published 05/28/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS – MAY 05: Hall of fame NBA player Michael Jordan looks on during the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya during their WBC super welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 5, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather defeated De La Hoya by split decision. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


Michael Jordan can often come across as an intimidating man both on and off the court. Well, there are many players in the league who met him way before entering the official NBA world. For some, it’s a typical fan moment, while others find it hilarious to even narrate their first-timers with the Bulls star.

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Dallas Mavericks point guard, Jalen Brunson revealed his first encounter with the great Michael Jordan. It’s been three years that Jalen has also followed his father’s footsteps into the league. He was drafted in 2018 by the Mavericks after winning two NCAA championships in his early days.

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The first encounter with Michael Jordan

It was long back when his father, Rick Brunson, played in the league, and Jalen himself was a kid watching matches from the stands. That’s when he met Jordan in the most amusing way.

 “[My dad] was playing in D.C. and Michael [Jordan] was on the Wizards and my mom, my sister and we drove down a couple of hours to see my dad play. I always got a jersey at the opposing arena so I could remember where I’ve been,” Jalen told on the ‘JJ Redick Show’. “So I got a Jordan jersey and even though my dad is on the other team, I’m wearing his jersey.”

“So after the game my dad asked me if I wanted to meet Michael [Jordan] because I had his jersey on and I said ‘sure.’ I knew Michael Jordan was a great player, but I just didn’t really know who Michael Jordan was at the time and what he brought to, not just basketball, but to the entire world.” 

Everything just went downhill from there for Jalen

Well, that was the turning point for Jalen, as he didn’t know what that meeting even meant. It’s usually the craziest moment for any fan but for him, it became an embarrassing incident to look back upon.

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“When I go up to meet him he comes up to me and said ‘Hey how are you doing, would you like me to sign your jersey?’ And I said ‘No you’ll mess it up.’ Everything just went downhill from there.”

Well, that was it for Jalen Brunson. It was a straight ‘no’ from the kid. It’s comical to think about how underrated Michael Jordan was for Jalen at the time. He didn’t want that autograph because his jersey will get spoiled. At present, he’ll most likely pounce for that moment in one go.

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Pavni Ahuja

393 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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