Pete Myers was in the shower.
Standing by his locker waiting was Michael Jordan, who dressed next to the rookie from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Jordan asked whether I was waiting to interview Pete.
"I'm sitting right here, and you want to interview Pete Myers, a sixth-round draft pick?" Jordan said with a hint of a smile. "Where you from?"
It was the 1986-87 season, and Jordan was a third-year NBA phenom who was in the process of having the highest scoring average of his career at 37.1 points per game.
Myers was the 120th overall pick, but his hard work on both ends of the court helped him make the Chicago Bulls' roster.
Jordan was told I was from Arkansas.
"Oh, that makes sense," he said. "I went to Arkansas once, think it was Pine Bluff, but I don't remember for sure."
Yes, you went there in February 1984 as part of an undefeated North Carolina team that got beat 65-64 by the University of Arkansas, and you had 21 points.
Jordan gave me that raised eyebrow look, no hint of a smile, and that conversation was over.
I actually was relieved a few seconds later when Jake Sandlin of the Arkansas Gazette showed up to interview Myers, too.
While watching The Last Dance, thoughts about Myers came and went several times.
The last time our paths crossed was about five years ago, and he didn't remember me at first.
Myers had an interesting professional career, and he would have made for an interesting segment in the documentary.
Myers, who helped the UALR Trojans beat Notre Dame in the first round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament, was a fearless, hard-nosed player.
In the process of that interview, a couple of minutes were spent with then-Bulls coach Doug Collins, who laughed out loud when he said he had been all over Myers for being late to practice too often.
"He told me, 'Coach, I can't control the buses,' " Collins said. "I told him he was in the NBA now and didn't need to count on public transportation. Told him go buy a car.
"The next day he showed up in a Mercedes that probably cost him half his salary."
Myers' historical note with the Bulls wouldn't happen until the 1993-94 season, and by then he had played for four other NBA teams, a CBA team and four international teams.
Jordan retired to pursue a baseball career. The Bulls signed the journeyman Myers to replace Jordan, the face of the Bulls and the NBA, as the franchise's shooting guard.
Myers started 81 games in Jordan's place, but he never tried to be Jordan. The responsibility of being the go-to guy in the Bulls' Triangle offense had switched to Scottie Pippen. Myers did average more than 24 minutes and 7.9 points per game.
Then he became a tiny part of one of the most talked about plays in NBA history.
The Bulls were playing the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in 1994. With 1.8 seconds left and the score tied, Coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for Toni Kukoc, who had hit three game-winners at the buzzer that season.
Pippen was supposed to inbound the ball, but he refused to enter the game in what he considered a lesser role.
It was very controversial, but most don't remember that it was Myers who inbounded the ball to Kukoc, who nailed the game-winner.
Myers was with the Bulls when Jordan returned during the 1994-95 season, but that was his last in Chicago.
He finished his career playing for three more NBA teams, two CBA teams and one international team before turning to coaching.
Myers is the only person in NBA history who can say he replaced the G.O.A.T. in his prime.
Sports on 05/20/2020