- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
He looks at me and says, "Yeah, I can do that. Before each dunk, I'll put my finger on my knee." He puts it on his leg, pointing in one direction.
I ask, "You're going to remember that?"
He says, "Yeah, you watch."
First dunk, he points left, so I move to the other side of the basket, from where I can see his face. It's great. And every dunk is like this. Then we get to the final two, starting with the famous one in which he takes off from the free throw line. For that, I'm right up against the stanchion with a wide-angle lens. Michael comes down and slams it and runs right into my lap. A perfect picture. The next dunk, I decide I'm staying in the same place. I look down at the other end of the court, and Michael takes his thumb and jabs it: Move a little to your right, Walter. And the resulting picture is the one you see in all the books.
He was funny about his legs, though. I was in Sarasota, Fla., for spring training in 1994, when he played baseball. Michael showed up early and said, "Come on, we're doing this picture right now."
I was like, Now?
So I said, "Well, stand in front of this wall; it's a good background." I love walls and skies—I'm background-crazy. And the first thing Jordan said was, "Don't shoot my legs."
"I promise, Mike." His legs were strong but skinny.
When I showed Michael photos of himself playing defense, I always showed him pictures shot from above, because he prided himself in playing straight D, without holding.