OSU Beavers

Dino Tanner, Corey Benjamin and tales of going 1 on 1 with MJ

OSU Beavers

Going one on one with the greatest player in NBA history is something that most of us can only dream of. 

But for former Oregon State Beavers Dino Tanner and Corey Benjamin, that dream was a reality. 

The duo were the latest guests on the Talkin' Beavers Podcast where they shared their stories.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast!]

First, let's start with Benjamin.

Benjamin was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1998, giving him a chance to cross paths with his idol.

"I got drafted by the team my idol was on. I grew up and that's all I thought I was - Michael Jordan."

Unfortunately for Benjamin, Jordan announced his retirement that summer and the two never got to play together. However, those around the Bulls organization still had contact with MJ, and Benjamin took advantage.  ​ "It all started with a phone call. I was like the little kid that always nagged him," said Benjamin. "A lot of his ex-teammates were still in contact with... I would always take the phone and talk to stuff to him."

MJ made sure to listen and asked if Benjamin really thought he could take him. "Absolutely. YES," Benjamin responded and MJ never forgot.

Benjamin then went on to tell the story of how the team was on a trip to Washington D.C. to play the Wizards when out of nowhere, Jordan showed up.


MJ showed up for one reason - Talk to Benjamin. After 15 minutes of back and forth, MJ leaned to told Benjamin, "I'll see you tomorrow in Chicago after practice."

He didn't believe it would happen, but MJ was at practice the next day and Benjamin got to go one-on-one with his idol.

Benjamin didn't tell us how the game went, but one can only assume. Jordan is the greatest of all time after all.

Tanner, he had is own story of getting worked by the G.O.A.T.

While at OSU, Tanner was a coach for one of MJ's summer camps down in Santa Barbara. Tanner told of how MJ and all the camp coaches would play pick-up during off hours. This is where he got matched up with MJ.

"Mike threw me the ball. Check up," described Tanner. "He said 'check up man. What's up, you nervous?' I took the ball, threw it at him real hard and said "heck nah, I'm not nervous.'"

One the got going, Tanner got his.

"I came off a down screen, hit a three-pointer at the top on Mike. He contested. I hit it. And then I messed up. I told him..."I feel like Reggie Miller busting your you know what."  

You don't tug on Superman's cape, and you certainly don't antagonize the greatest basketball player that ever lived. 

For there the game got real. MJ put his skills on full display and Tanner, tasked with guarding him, couldn't do anything about it.

"He went 8 for 8. No rim. Just all splash."

Even if the encounter were brief, Tanner and Benjamin lived the basketball dream thanks to MJ.

Michael Jordan is now 58 years old and something tells me he can still dish out a good ol' 1 v 1 whoopin' on the court if he needed to.