Video: Michael Jordan recalls the time he schooled O.J. Mayo at his own camp
Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan was never one to back down from a challenge on the basketball court, no matter who was issuing it. O.J. Mayo saw this trait firsthand after provoking His Airness at one of his camps.
Simply put, Mayo was a high school phenom. Scouts around the NBA were hot on his trail from a young age, as he had all the makings of a star. Hailing from Huntington, West Virginia, the crafty guard led the entire state in scoring for the 2006-2007 season with 28.4 points per game. He was later drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Jordan says he hadn’t met Mayo prior to facing him at his camp. According to MJ, Mayo was talking trash on the court, noting that Jordan couldn’t guard him.
In true Jordan fashion, he stopped the game and sent the campers home — all of them except Mayo:
“I’m playing in my camp against O.J. Mayo,” Jordan said in an interview from yesteryear. “He was a top high school kid coming out, and I had never met him.
“In front of my camp, he starts this thing about ‘you can’t guard me, you can’t do this.’ I’ve got my campers here, so I can’t really go where I want to go because I own my camp,” Jordan added.
“So I stopped the camp — sent the kids to bed,” Jordan added. “We go back to playing, and he starts this whole thing that ‘you can’t guard me, you can’t do this.’ So from that point on, it was a lesson. And from that point on, it was a lesson. He never won a game, I posted him up, I did everything.”
“I got a few buckets,” Mayo said of his matchup against Jordan. “I think the campers knew I was only a high school kid, so they got rowdy a little bit. We got a little bit of jawing. We played two games. I think we split them one and one — it was team games.
“And then he said, ‘Okay, now let me handle my business,'” Mayo said, referring to Jordan pulling him aside for a one-on-one matchup. “So he was jawing a little bit and really getting into me defensively. He hit the famous fadeaway on me, and Mike was Mike.”
“You may be the greatest high school player, but I’m the greatest ever…don’t you ever disrespect the great.”
Major throwback to Michael Jordan humbling O.J. Mayo. pic.twitter.com/vDLTCcZaM3
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 18, 2020
Though Mayo was one of the more talented players in the country at that time, it seems Jordan wanted to make it crystal clear that he is the greatest ever.