NBA icon Michael Jordan leaves fans divided after refusing to give kids his autograph

NBA legend Michael Jordan went viral after a video surfaced of the Chicago Bulls icon refusing two starstruck teenagers asking for an autograph – and fans are divided following his rejection.

On Wednesday, the six-time NBA champion was spotted in Charlotte and went viral after he turned down pleas for his signature and a photo. In the video, the two kids were seemingly hoping to see Charlotte Hornets superstar LaMelo Ball but were left stunned as they spotted Jordan.

“We gonna see LaMelo Ball,” the kids can be heard saying in the video. “That’s not LaMelo…but it’s Michael Jordan!”

“Michael Jordan! Can I get a pic?”

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Jordan, dressed in a grey suit, was clearly in a rush and playfully waved away the duo’s request. It led to one kid cheekily shouting: “Where LaMelo at?”

Jordan is the owner of the Hornets, who went 43-39 in the 2021/22 regular season. The 59-year-old is one of just three sportsmen to become a billionaire, alongside 15-time major winner Tiger Woods and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

A large part of Jordan’s mammoth wealth stems from Air Jordan and other dealings, as well as his perfectly-timed investment in the Hornets – who were known as the Bobcats back then – in 2006. Jordan reportedly now has an estimated worth of £1.72 billion.

Michael Jordan playfully waved away the kids who were hoping to get a pic and autograph with the NBA legend

In the video, Jordan gestures with his arms to wave the kids away, while his reply is unclear before he got in his car to leave. Fans were quick to respond to the footage, with some believing the five-time NBA MVP should have stopped for the kids, while others firmly claim he had a right to move on without adhering to their request.

“LeBron would never,” wrote one fan while another added: “I never understood this. I get asking them to put the phones down. But you walk over shake their hands, say what up. If there is a huge crowd, sure. But 2 kids?”

It is not clear from the video if Jordan drove away or signed an autograph for the pair after the exchange. Regardless, former NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith took to social media to defend Jordan – and even suggested the kids were filming outside the former Bulls guard’s condo.

“Folks are flaming Jordan but the man was leaving his crib. Could he have been a little nicer? Maybe, but folks need to respect boundaries,” Smith said.

Michael Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest basketball player in history, is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets franchise
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AFP via Getty Images)

Do you think Michael Jordan was being rude when he rejected the kids’ request? Let us know in the comments section.

“This was at his condo for those who think they know everything. The kids weren’t wrong for being excited about seeing their hero. They just need to know waiting out front of someone’s house isn’t appropriate.”

Amusingly, it’s not the first time the Jordan has been accused of snubbing the younger generation. In 2016, he went viral after denying kids the chance to win some free shoes at a Chris Paul camp as he famous competitiveness took centre stage.

Paul declared to the camp that if Jordan missed three shots, the whole class would receive free trainers. In front of a hopeful crowd of participants, Jordan characteristically and ruthlessly drained each and every shot without a miss, leading to disappointed groans from the watching children.

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