Being Michael Jordan's teammate on the Wizards had to be one of the more unique situations a player has ever found themselves in while playing in the NBA. You were playing alongside the greatest of all-time and a guy who had joined the team from the front office where he had previously served as your boss.
Basically, Jordan was all-powerful and players had no choice but to defer to him, even when it was difficult. Richard Hamilton recalled an example of that this week on an episode of Showtime's 'All the Smoke.'
Hamilton remembered a night where he was on fire, but had to essentially stop shooting per Jordan's request.
"Allan Houston was killing me. He killed me in my first two years. So, when MJ came my third year, now I feel like I've grown up... I've got big bro, I've got the bully in the room. So, I'm a little bit more confident. So, we're playing against New York in Washington and the first half, I go out and I give Allan Houston 30 in the first half," Hamilton said.
"I'm geeked. I'm like 'for all the times this mother-f-----'s been killing me and getting me in foul trouble, I'm in his ass right now. So, we're in there at halftime and we're talking. Coach talks, does his speech. MJ comes up to me. He's like 'hey man, hey young fella, you had a great half. But big bro is gonna take over the second half, so don't worry about it. I've got you.'"
Hamilton would soon find out that meant step out of the way, it's Jordan's time to get the ball.
"I only had two shots in the second half," Hamilton said. "At the end of the game I was like 'damn, man this was my perfect opportunity to kill this dude. This dude killed me my first two years and now I've got you on my side.' He was like 'don't worry man, you'll get another opportunity' ... That story always sticks with me because that was my opportunity to go out and get 50."
Hamilton added the Wizards would go on to win the game, so Jordan's move was more at the expense of him than it was for the team. Looking at box scores, this appears to be the game Hamilton was referring to. Hamilton had 34 points, while Jordan had 19 and the Wizards beat the Knicks by double-digits.
Hamilton ended up being traded to the Pistons after that season. He was traded for Jerry Stackhouse, who recently complained about Jordan dominating the team's shot attempts, so a similar tale.
The good news for Hamilton is he did end up scoring 50 in a game, just not until 2006. Amazingly, it came against the Knicks.
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