Recently, former NBA great Larry Johnson made a special guest appearance on the Scoop B Radio podcast show.
The former #1 pick of the 1991 NBA Draft went on the show to discuss some of his greatest memories he experienced during his playing days growing up in Texas and in the NBA. Amongst the things that were discussed was his memorable 4-point play in the 1999 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers. The epic moment is one of the most memorable fan favorite moments in Madison Square Garden history. In addition, the birth of the nickname “Larry Legend” began and his magnifcent play along with his charisma off the court quickly made him an Knick fan favorite forever. But before those iconic moments occurred, LJ was just a Dallas Texas native who worked hard to receive the opportunity to play in the NBA. Johnson gave a interesting on how he played 1-on-1 against former Houston Rocket great Calvin Murphy. Check it out below.
Larry Johnson: I’m from Dallas, Texas, we had all our Mavericks, all our Cowboys would show their face. Roger Staubach would come to the community. I remember being in sixth or eighth grade and seeing Calvin Murphy come to Payless and play one on one with me.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Who won?
Larry Johnson: He let me win, Calvin Murphy. I was like 14 years old. My mom was there. He was passing by, the shoe store. I don’t know if ya’ll know Payless. He had a big ‘ol sign with it and it said it was Calvin Murphy. And I was taller than him at the time. Of course, I was 14 and Calvin was a guard and I think he let me win.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Did that motivate you?
Larry Johnson: Absolutely. And I mentioned like some Cowboys and Mavericks and that’s Dallas. The reason that I said Calvin Murphy is because he didn’t play for no Mavericks or no Cowboys, but he did come out. But of course situations like that motivate you when you see professional athletes.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Where was the craziest place people have ever recognized you in NYC and credited you for the four point play?
Larry Johnson: I can’t recall like the craziest place, but this is New York, man. And everywhere I go here, it’s like I’m a legend. I done took the nickname Larry Legend, I didn’t think I was that old, really. But that’s what cats have been calling me simply because I believe, the four point play. : It’s just one play. It’s the greatest play, I’ve had. I’ve had some pretty good moments in this game: winning a championship in college, being the number one, but making a four point play against one of our arch rivals at Madison Square Garden, that was the craziest.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Everybody knows about the four point play. What other plays of yours do you think are also noteworthy.
Larry Johnson: My first year here, we beat Indiana, in Indiana and I hit the last 2 three pointers to win the game. It was cool. It was in the playoffs, it was third game, and going down the stretch, I hit two big 3’s. That was big for me. The four point play of course and also beating Miami in Miami three straight years in a seven game series in the playoffs was the highlight of my career. So you know, guys talk about Miami/New York rivalry, you talk about Indiana/New York rivalry, it wasn’t a rivalry for me, because I kicked their ass–Miami’s ass three or four times and Indiana’s ass two or three times, so they ain’t got nothing to say to me. Those other guys before me may have a rivalry, but they were stepping stones to me.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: How nostalgic is it to see the Charlotte Hornets come back?
Larry Johnson: It’s not. What goes around comes around. I know they were down for a while. You get some draft picks, you get some guys in there and you get your nucleus together and you start winning ball games.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Now what about the Hornets restoring the name?
Larry Johnson: That was the right thing to do, that was the right thing to do. Now they just need to start to getting back guys like Muggsy Bogues and getting those original guys back. I wasn’t really the original , I was one of the big parts, but I wasn’t one of the original. It was the original guys that really made that franchise and put and kept it together, so to go back to the Charlotte Hornets, that’s the only thing that they could do! That was the best thing. The Charlotte Bobcats? Stop it! Stop it! The Charlotte Hornets.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: If they retired your jersey, would you retire half Charlotte and half Knicks?
Larry Johnson: No, no!
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Who would it be?
Larry Johnson: Knicks all day! All day.