Russell Westbrook says he skipped a Michael Jordan autograph session as a kid to play basketball instead

It’s no surprise that every NBA star pretty much has to love the game of basketball if they plan on having any success in the league, but Russell Westbrook might have a strong case for loving the sport more than his peers do. In a video interview on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the Rockets point guard revealed that he chose to play a game of pick-up over getting Michael Jordan’s autograph.

The story dates back to when Westbrook was around 10 or 11 years old while attending a Jordan basketball camp. His parents gave him a ball for the Bulls superstar to sign when he left his home, but when the time came for the autograph to happen, Westbrook just kept playing basketball while everyone else got in line.

Of course, the way Westbrook’s life and career in basketball turned out, that decision ended up being far from one he’d regret. He’d go on to play for UCLA, get drafted to play for the Sonics in 2008 (which became the Thunder later that summer) and become of the league’s most prominent stars. The Rockets guard’s eventual stardom even earned him a signature sneaker with Jordan Brand, meaning he’s had plenty of opportunities to meet, take photos with and get an autograph from Jordan himself.

In other words, this might be the only time where blowing off His Airness for a game of pickup ended up being the right choice.

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