Michael Jordan is a legend. Sneakers, six championships and team ownership, MJ birthed exemplified what it meant to have a brand, put people under his brand and able to market himself from it.
Jordan influenced his peers and the next generation of hoopers.
MJ had a huge influence on 90s hoopers were preparing for the next level, as well.
Insert Tim Thomas. The Villanova product and seventh pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, played 12 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers where he averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games.
On the Scoop B Radio Podcast, the former three-time High School All American tells me about how he got to visit MJ and Scottie Pippen at their hotel while he was a standout at Paterson Catholic High School in Paterson, New Jersey.
The story was amazing. Check out the snippet from our Q&A on the Scoop B Radio Podcast below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I need a Michael Jordan story.
Tim Thomas: A Michael Jordan story?
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: A story that nobody’s heard that you can share…
Tim Thomas: I mean I was around the Bulls when I was a young fella in high school so I used to go to the games when they came to Garden or to Jersey and stuff like that so… I never really hung with them other than this one time Pip invited me to dinner and they were staying at the Crowne Plaza and Mickey Mantle’s place is right up the street in Central Park. They’re up in Mickey Mantle’s so I walk up in there and they got the entire restaurant shut down. At that time, one of Scottie’s agents came and got me so outside of Mickey Mantle’s that street right there where the window is you can see about I would say about 2,000 – 2,500 people standing, staring into the mirror, trying to see the Bulls. So I get there right before dinner is over and this is my first time ever meeting Mike. So I met Mike, and Pip and the rest of the team and they were getting ready to walk out and I didn’t even see where security came from for Michael Jordan. But he had about ten guys that came out of nowhere like they were secret service. And that’s a quick walk back and forth to the hotel and they rushed him down the street so fast it was unbelievable. I thought he was the president or something. But that was like my first time meeting Mike eye to eye, shaking hands and meeting the GOAT and as a youngster I’ll always remember that. The media and everybody that was out there was just a little crazy and it was first time like seeing that’s what it is being super super star. Imagine like Michael Jackson or you favorite superstar in their heyday. Getting that type of attention, but that was cool though.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Were there other players that got that treatment you saw during your career? Even remotely close to that?
Tim Thomas: Yeah all the greats. Magic’s that way, the first time I met Kareem. It was at the Magic Roundball Game. The first time I met Magic, Isiah all those guys came to the game. You know they were superstars to us. We were still in high school. We were trying to get there. Me, Kobe, Jermaine you know, Rip Hamilton we’re trying to get there. They were all superstars to us. Everybody got treated that way, but Mike was Mike man….once the sneakers came out and everything, Mike was Mike so it’s a little different.