A Young Russell Westbrook Once Blew Off a Michael Jordan Autograph

Russell Westbrook plays for the Houston Rockets against the Orlando Magic
Russell Westbrook plays for the Houston Rockets against the Orlando Magic | Tim Warner/Getty Images

Russell Westbrook was a guest of Jimmy Fallon's on The Tonight Show Tuesday night and told a great story. When he was 10 or 11, the Houston Rockets star went to Michael Jordan's basketball camp and passed up an opportunity to have a basketball signed by the greatest player of all-time.

At the end of the camp, every team lined up and Jordan ws set to sign things for the players. Instead of doing that, young Westbrook decided to play a pick-up game. Despite his coach urging him to join the rest of his team in line to get a ball signed, he opted out. He wound up missing his chance.

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That's just an amazing story. To go to a camp all week then somehow not get an autograph when that's the big finale to the camp is pretty crazy. Having grown up attending basketball camps run by NBA players and coaches, I can tell you the autograph sessions at the end are a huge deal. Kids look forward to them the entire week. The fact that young Russ blew it off is both stunning and kind of awesome.

It's worth noting that Westbrook's shoe deal is with Jordan Brand, so I'm pretty sure His Airness can hook him up with that autograph any time. I mean, Russ has won an NBA MVP, the least Mike could do is sign a ball for him.