Here’s a sports crossover tale that should bring a smile to your face. When Mark Henry first met Michael Jordan, it did not go so smooth. Henry felt disrespected, and well, you know how Henry’s WWE theme song goes. Somebody gon’ get their wig split.
Henry shared the story with DJ Vlad of VladTV. The MJ portion begins at 2:27 of the video.
Vlad: At the ‘96 Olympics, you ran into Michael Jordan.
Mark Henry: Yep, got to meet the great Michael Jordan.
Vlad: Right. It didn’t go too well though.
Henry: Not at first. The way the story goes is Michael asked who are you, because I didn’t fit in. I was in an environment where it was all basketball players, and he was like who is this big guy. And I understand that. But my mother used to say, “Be careful what you say but even be more careful how you say it.” And the way he said it to me was very disrespectful, I thought. And I checked him about it, and he apologized. Hell, he even invited me to his birthday party at the All-Star game. And I went to his birthday party, said, “Happy birthday and thanks for the invite,” and had a good time, and took my ass home.
Vlad: Gotcha. That would have been interesting. A Mark Henry/Michael Jordan fist fight at the Olympics.
Henry: It wouldn’t have been interesting. That would not have been interesting.
Vlad: That would have made international news.
Henry: Oh, it would have made world news, but it wouldn’t have looked good for me.
Earlier this month, Henry went into greater detail with Chip Brown of 247Sports. The story begins at the 7:02 mark.
Chip Brown: You were an Olympian in ‘92 and ‘96 and a multi-time national champion in powerlifting. So, in 1992, you’re standing there with Charles Barkley. And you tell us the story, because, now, you’re willing to tell this story now that The Last Dance is going and you and Michael Jordan are friends now, you know.
Mark Henry: Oh god. I don’t know about that. Michael don’t even know I exist, probably.
During that time, I went to the hotel just because I wanted to see people that I knew. Barkley being one of those people, and David Robinson and Karl Malone. You would think in a perfect world that when somebody walks up on a group of people, they would just greet everybody, “Hey, guys. How you all doing? What’s going on?” and go from there.
Well, when Michal walked up, that wasn’t the case. I guess I seemed out of place. And his response to me was, “Who are you?” And I was like, “Who the hell are you?” And you know, I started to get a little bit angry, because I was not expecting that. It was like a slap in the face. It’s like someone walking up and just slapping you. I was in shock. I was like this is Michael Jordan. And I’m angry, like, “Why? Why? What the hell?” He backed off. “Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. My bad. I didn’t want to come across,” but he did. And, I’m sure that that’s not the only time something like that has ever happened in this world, but it had been a long time since that happened to me, and I wasn’t having no parts of it.
The thing about it, the one thing about the story that is not told, and I guess could be told here, is he apologized. A lot of people don’t remember, but the All-Star game was coming up after that and it was in San Antonio. When that came through, he invited me to the All-Star game. He was having his birthday party during the All-Star game. So, his people contacted me and got me a parking pass and VIP. It was all fine and good. It all ended well. It just didn’t start off. And like I said, that’s a blip on the radar. Michael Jordan probably don’t even remember this. And I’m sure like Barkley remembers it. We laughed about it afterwards. It wasn’t no big deal. That’s just the story of how I met Michael Jordan.
There is lots of sports debate over how many NBA championships Michael Jordan would have won if ‘this happened’ or ‘that happened.’ My question is how many would MJ have won if he had his wig split in 1992.