Jalen Brunson Didn't Want Jordan Autograph to Ruin Wizards Jersey at Age 6

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 15, 2020

Washington Wizards' Michael Jordan (23) gets a pass off between Chicago Bulls' Marcus Fizer (21) and Jamal Crawford, right, during the fourth quarter of the Wizards' 101-98 win, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2003, in Washington. (AP Photo/Ricky Carioti)
RICKY CARIOTI/Associated Press

If ESPN's The Last Dance has proved anything, it's shown just how difficult it was to score an autograph from Michael Jordan.

Even more stunning is the idea that someone would turn down an autograph from His Airness. Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson did just that.

As a six-year-old in 2003, Brunson, who was wearing a new white Washington jersey, was introduced to Jordan after a game at the Wizards' arena. When Jordan offered to sign his threads, Brunson didn't take him up on it.

"No," Brunson recalled saying, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "You'll mess it up."

Brunson's father, Rick, was playing for the Chicago Bulls at the time and was stunned by his son's refusal.

"He didn't know the magnitude of who he was talking to," Rick Brunson said. "He was like, 'Nah, you can't sign this.'" 

While young Jalen didn't realize how much more valuable an elusive MJ autograph would make his jersey, Jordan's teammates apparently did. According to Youngmisuk, the Wizards players who overheard Jalen's refusal "erupted with laughter."