Kris Johnson's exploits on the hardwood are largely unknown to most basketball fans, but the former UCLA Bruin apparently had a fan in Michael Jordan.
Slam Online's Alex Squadron wrote an oral history of the pickup games Jordan helped organize while filming Space Jam. At the time, Johnson was basking in the glory of UCLA's 1995 national championship.
"Mike's first pick every day was Kris Johnson from UCLA because Kris came in there and was a workaholic and Mike respected people that played hard," former NBA forward Tracy Murray said. "Kris worked his tail off and you saw that kid's game go from one level to the next."
Johnson's father is five-time NBA All-Star Marques Johnson, which helped him get on Jordan's good side. Nate Bellamy, a technical advisor for the movie, said the Hall of Famer "[admired] Marques Johnson when he was coming up," so he naturally gravitated toward Marques' son.
Perhaps partially due to his experiences on the Space Jam set, Johnson took a big leap in his sophomore season. After averaging 2.6 points and 1.7 in 1994-95, his numbers improved to 12.5 and 4.4, respectively, in 1995-96 as he became a key player for the Bruins.
Playing pickup games against the greatest basketball player of all time would have served as a great experience.