Earlier this year a representative from Michael Jordan’s camp told Complex Magazine that Michael Jordan actually liked the viral meme of him crying.
“We think it’s funny,” Jordan’s rep said. His son seemed to like it, too.
TMZ caught up with Jordan’s longtime friend and former NBA forward Charles Oakley Wednesday, and Oakley disputed the idea that Jordan likes the meme. “Nah, he don’t like it,” Oakley said.
According to Complex, The photo dates back to Jordan’s 2009 Naismith Hall of Fame induction ceremony. His Airness was overcome with emotion, and Associated Press photographer Stephan Savoia captured the moment. Savoia apparently had no idea the photo went viral until a few months ago.
“I just did some Google searches after I read your email and have not been able to stop laughing,” he wrote in an email to the Wall Street Journal.
“It was the first time in maybe 40 years I had ever seen an athlete cry,” Savoia said. “There’s a real distinction between honest emotion and what we in the business call ‘jubi’ or jubilation. When a football player gets a touchdown, he dances, spikes the ball, whatever they’re doing, that’s not emotion, that’s jubilation. But emotion, real emotion, that’s a rare thing, and you stumble into it with dumb luck. Michael Jordan crying, that was a real moment.”