Apparently Michael Jordan’s Pickup Games On ‘Space Jam’ Set Were Legendary
Fair warning: people who contend that Michael Jordan is basketball's undisputed GOAT are going to have a field day with this story.
According to ESPN's J.A. Adande, Jordan is credited with playing host to some of some of the most legendary pickup games of all time while he was filming 'Space Jam' in the summer of 1995.
As the story goes, Jordan was still stinging from having just been ousted from the playoffs by the Orlando Magic. So he commissioned a tented hardwood basketball court to be built on the Warner Bros. studio lot where he was filming, and that's when the NBA players started showing up.
That's right. The cult classic may now be a cultural staple for every kid who was raised in the 90's, but behind the scenes MJ was playing grown-man pickup basketball with some of the best players in the world.
Obviously some of the other plays who co-starred in the film - including Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson - showed up to play. Others included Grant Hill, Rod Strickland, Glen Rice, Dennis Rodman, Juwan Howard, Steve Smith, Cedric Ceballos, Shaquille O'Neal and the newly un-retired Magic Johnson.
Even Reggie Miller showed up, for what Adande thrillingly described as a "clear-out-and-let-em-go-at-it game, with the trash talk flying."
Tracy Murray, an 11-season NBA veteran, remembers that "it was like an NBA all-star game every day."
At the time Murray had just wrapped up his third season as a pro, and he credits the vicious competition with preparing him for his breakout season.
"...he made 116 more 3-pointers and his scoring average jumped by 11 points, setting him up for a nice free-agent contract that provided the bulk of the $22 million he made in his career," wrote Adande.
I really need someone to come forward with some dusty old video from of one of these games. This would be dream footage. Oh god, the '30 for 30' would be so epic...
::movie trailer voice::
What if I told you that some of the best NBA players of all time spent one summer playing basketball on a movie lot, free from the prying eyes of the public...and even more free from the rules."
And of course the soundtrack would just be the entirety of D'Angelo's first album.
Why? Just go read it.
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