Comedian Gary Vider has revealed the incredible scam he pulled off to score a one-on-one meeting with basketball legend Michael Jordan during his childhood.
After his first retirement, Jordan returned to the NBA in 1995, and 11 days into the second stint of his basketball career, scored 55 points at Madison Square Garden. Incredibly, it was only his fifth game back from a 17-month hiatus.
Although every reporter in the country would have been desperate for an interview with the GOAT, 10-year-old Vider was granted access to the Madison Square Garden locker room where he met Jordan, Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson.
How? Vider’s smooth-talking father somehow convinced the venue’s security his son was a reporter for Sports Illustrated for Kids, which was not true.
Vider detailed the clever ploy on his Instagram page, accompanied by a picture of him sitting alongside Jordan.
Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan. (Photo by KIMBERLY BARTH / AFP)Source:AFP
“From 1993-1997, my father and I ran a scam saying I was a reporter for Sports Illustrated for Kids and he was a photographer,” Vider wrote.
“My dad would smooth talk our way into games at Madison Square Garden and Nassau Coliseum without a ticket and get us access into the locker rooms.
“When we would get in the locker room, I would (fake) interview the players, take pictures, and get autographs.
“One of the closest calls we ever had was Michael Jordan’s first game back at MSG after he took a year and a half off to play baseball.
“We’d been to the Garden countless times before, but this time an actual reporter and photographer for Sports Illustrated for Kids showed up. My dad made it a point for us to say hi to them, never telling them who we were. I remember thinking as a 10-year-old this it, we are going to jail.
“After watching MJ score 55 points, my dad and I rushed to the locker room. Security was limiting how many people could get through, even press. We wound up getting in, and the real Sports Illustrated for Kids didn’t.”
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Security is undeniably stricter than it was 25 years ago, which Spike Lee is all too familiar with. In March, the New York Knicks got in a public feud with superfan Lee after a clash with security at an NBA game at Madison Square Garden.
Vider has appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Conan, and was a contestant on America’s Got Talent in 2015.
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