Michael Phelps has finally met his idol. The Olympic swimmer and the NBA’s greatest basketball player, Michael Jordan, sat down together during a taping of Feherty Live.
USA Today reports that the meeting was a surprise for Phelps.
“I froze. That’s the one person in the world who could do that to me. I literally have always looked up to him. He’s the greatest.”
Phelps has referenced Jordan throughout his career. When the Olympic swimmer retired at the end of the 2012 London Olympics he said that he always wanted to be the “Michael Jordan of swimming.”
“I’ve looked up to Michael Jordan my whole life, because he has done something that nobody else has ever done. He is the greatest basketball player ever to play the game. I have been able to become the best swimmer of all time.”
Yahoo Sports reports that yesterday was the first time that Phelps met his idol. The two have, however, exchanged texts prior to their meeting on Feherty Live.
The Olympic swimmer said that he expected to meet Jordan sometime during the Ryder’s Cup. Jordan is an honorary member of the team and Phelps is scheduled to participate at several events during the tournament.
But Phelps did not expect Jordan to walk out on stage last night.
“It was very special that he was able to come by, stop by and say hello… I’m still, like, out of it. That was awesome.”
Phelps wasn’t the only one a little star struck. Jordan said that he was also honored to sit next to the world’s most decorated Olympic athlete. MJ even invited Phelps out for a round of golf.
“I’m truly honored and humbled that he’s looked at me as a motivational figure… Anytime he’s ready, I’m ready… Except getting in the pool. I cannot swim, so I am not getting in the pool.”