Publish date:

Confident Teen Describes How to Stop Michael Jordan After 1994 Pickup Game

In Tuesday’s Hot Clicks: the key to defending Michael Jordan, the one year anniversary of Kawhi’s epic game-winner and more.

It’s just that easy

Imagine going to your local gym to shoot some hoops and having Michael Jordan show up. 

During Jordan’s first retirement, that happened on a regular basis at a gym in downtown Chicago. Jordan, before he went off to play baseball, would join pickup games at the Athletic Club at Illinois Center multiple times per week.

In the pre-smartphone era, video of these games is hard to come by. A Bulls fan and podcaster named Adam Howes uploaded a Bulls pregame show segment to Twitter on Monday night, showing Jordan towering over a few gym rats as a crowd gathered. 

(Howe called the video “RARE,” and that really does seem to be the case. I tried several different search terms to find it on YouTube and all I dug up was a video uploaded two weeks ago that has about 100 views.)

The camera crew on the scene interviewed a couple of players in the game to get their thoughts on playing with a legend. One guy estimated that Jordan was only giving “about 30%” effort and could go back to the NBA “tomorrow.”

Another participant wasn’t so impressed. A guy named Aaron Watkins, who looked about 15 years old, said he knew just how to guard Jordan. 

(UPDATE: I was able to track Aaron down and get the whole story from him.) 

“Michael’s weakness is his shot,” Watkins said. “You just keep him around the perimeter, and when he does this move right here—palm the ball, bring it around—just don’t fall for that. Just wait for him to shoot, run up there, get the rebound, throw up some kind of lucky shot and you win.”

SI Recommends

If only the rest of the NBA had figured that out. 

Aaron is right, though. Jordan was never a great outside shooter, so if you keep him around the perimeter, it’s tougher for him to hurt you. It’s just a little tough to prevent him from driving to the hoop. 

The best of SI

MLB owners have approved a plan to start the season, but Scott Boras thinks the players should reject it. ... Tom Verducci goes deep on Michael Jordan’s baseball career. ... The Premier League’s planned restart is still rife with complications.

Around the sports world

Former Titans executive Steve Underwood, who went viral for his wild facial hair, spoke with the Houston Chronicle about his unexpected stardom. ... When Rob Gronkowski was scared about doing a stunt at WrestleMania, Vince McMahon reportedly did it himself to show it was safe. ... The mascot for the KBO’s NC Dinos isn’t actually named “Swole Daddy,” but an SB Nation writer called it that and now it’s stuck. ... Premier League player Danny Rose isn’t happy that the league is trying to restart while peoples’ lives are still at risk. ... Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle also has reservations about MLB’s plan to play ball this summer. ... Tom Brady denied rumors that his relationship with Josh McDaniels was souring.

One year ago today

The stocky guy robbing a home run is awesome

Mike Tyson could still knock a guy’s head off

CC Sabathia is getting ripped in retirement

Congratulations to Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins

MJ wasn’t the only baseball player on the Bulls

Even as a Giants fan I have to admit this is impressive

Not sports

Elon Musk, who is again, behaving very sanely, illegally reopened his Tesla factory and dared authorities to arrest him. ... The streaming service Quibi is blaming its underwhelming launch on the coronavirus. ... The people behind Tiger King are working on a new project about the 2003 mauling incident involving Siegfried and Roy.

Don’t pick a fight on the street if the other guy is a secret UFC fighter

That foamy beer isn’t gonna do much to quench their thirst

So you don’t need the gym to work out?

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.