Richardson: “I Can Understand MJ A Lot More”

Quentin Richardson reflected on “The Last Dance” and shared what it was like playing against Michael Jordan

May 05, 2020 - 7:51 am
Michael Jordan Scottie Pippen

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For Quentin Richardson, playing in the NBA was a dream come true. But playing against Michael Jordan? That was the thrill of a lifetime.

“Man, listen, I was a kid in a candy store,” Richardson told JR SportBrief. “For me, it was huge.”

Richardson, the 18th overall pick to the Clippers in 2000, squared off against Jordan during his comeback with the Washington Wizards. Before the game, Richardson told a photographer to get as many action shots of him with MJ as possible.

“It wasn’t the prime MJ where I knew he was going to come and embarrass me, but he still was getting buckets,” Richardson said. “He still was averaging 20-something points, and he put 20-something on us. For me, it was like a dream come true. Because I remember when he retired in ’98, that was the disappointing thing for me. Like, man, I needed one or two more years and I could have got a chance to play against him. So when he came back, that was special.”

Now an NBA-TV analyst, Richardson has thoroughly enjoyed watching The Last Dance.

“I’m more than enjoying it,” he said. “This is the best thing ever for me. The biggest thing, the takeaway, for me – now as an adult and me going through the NBA and having a 13-year career and the business and the politics side of it . . . I can look at it and understand MJ a lot more. You see the whole thing with the gambling and the golf guy. You listen to him say that I don’t really enjoy being Michael Jordan – that was like a mind-blower for me. Like, to hear Michael Jordan say he doesn’t enjoy being him? Like, you’re Mike. 

“But then when you really think about that statement and look at what’s going on and listen to the friends and the people say how he can’t go anywhere and do anything without it being like a riot-type situation – he can’t just go to the movies with his kids or just go to the grocery store or do things like regular people for himself because it’s going to be pandemonium – I can understand,” Richardson continued. “And now you look at him in hindsight and now it’s 2020, you see how rare it is to see Michael and hear him talk and [for] him [to] give quotes and do interviews. He don’t do it.”