VY on MJ Story

Jan 4, 2011
Sorry if this was already posted but thought it was pretty interesting. Posted at: 23 on 23: The many legends of Michael Jordan

As a kid growing up in North Chicago, Vincent Yarbrough had Jordan posters in his room, wore Jordan sneakers and followed the Bulls every step of the way to their six NBA championships. “When the Bulls came on television in my house,” Yarbrough remembered, “you couldn’t talk.”

So after making the Denver Nuggets’ roster as a second-round pick in 2002, Yarbrough circled the Jan. 20, 2003, game against Jordan’s Wizards in Washington on his calendar.

Yarbrough and Junior Harrington, a fellow rookie, got to the game early to see Jordan, but security had blocked off the court where he was shooting. When the game started, both were disappointed to see their idol struggling.
“Kobe averaged 44 against us that season and Tracy McGrady gave us 43,” said Yarbrough, now a shooting instructor with Cheat Code Basketball. “So with Mike retiring that season, we really wanted to see him go off.” Jordan missed nine of his first 14 shots, and the Wizards were getting hammered early. “So me and Junior started to poke and prod him, telling him, ‘That’s garbage,’ each time he missed,” Yarbrough said.

They even went after his shoes when Jordan changed his sneakers at halftime. “Take them ugly a– shoes off,” Yarbrough said.

Jordan grew furious.

“Hold on now, you little b—-,” Jordan replied. “You grew up watching me, I didn’t grow up watching you.”

Jordan proceeded to score 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. During the game-deciding stretch, he hit four straight baskets. After the game, Jordan had the final word.

“At the end of the day, winning can shut up a lot of people,” Jordan said. “And once we got the lead, some of the conversation disappeared.”

Yarbrough, who wore a Jordan T-shirt in the locker room after the game, had no regrets:

“We were able to bring out his greatness.”

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