‘Tapped Me on the Bu**’: Former Kings Star Explains How Michael Jordan Gave Him His Welcome to the NBA Moment

Published 09/29/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 26: Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan watches as Roger Federer of Switzerland plays against Marinko Matosevic of Australia at their men’s singles first round tennis match on second day of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Being one of the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan had a daunting aura about him, one that he maintained by trash-talking. Throughout his career with the Chicago Bulls, he successfully managed to humiliate his opponents in such a way that they would never forget it. Like many others, Walt Williams was a victim to that embarrassment, that too when he was just a rookie, playing for the Sacramento Kings.

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How Michael Jordan gave Walt Williams his ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment

Trash talking came naturally to somebody as dominant as Jordan. He not only played around with his rivals physically but shook them mentally as well. One such incident happened with Walt Williams as well. It was a preseason game between the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings. Williams was supposed to run a pick-and-roll with his teammate, Mitch Richmond.

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However, he changed the plan when Michael Jordan switched with Scottie Pippen and started defending him. He thought that this was his moment to pull off his signature crossover. “But when I went off the pick, I just kinda’ looked and I said ‘Oh man, I got an iso [isolation] right here against [Michael] Jordan.’ If I score on him, I can call my boys and let them know I scored on Jordan, ” confessed Walt Williams.

“So I waved Mitch [Richmond] off, broke the play, and tried to do my ISO. I came right at Jordan with my patented crossover, right to left crossover.” Unfortunately, Jordan did not let him go through with it and stole the thunder. “Jordan stole that thing, went down, and did his emblem dunk,” he further explained.

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The humiliation did not end there

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

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After this went down, Jordan could not help but give the rookie a piece of his mind. Walt said, “When he ran back down, he tapped me on the bu** and said ‘we watch film up here, baby. I knew you was gonna do that fake-a– crossover’.”

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Wilt couldn’t believe that Jordan had somehow studied him for a preseason game. Well, this is Jordan we are talking about. He does not take any game lightly, and this is a testament to that. On top of that, he even gave Walt a welcome to the league he will never forget.

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Yashima Bhatia

1569 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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