Michael Jordan has the power to fuel anyone’s hoop dreams, even battle-hardened NBA veterans like Isaiah Thomas.

The Celtics star met Jordan for the first time Friday in New Orleans, and the experience is one he won’t soon forget. Thomas giddily told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn about the effect Jordan’s compliments had on him.

“Michael Jordan, I met Michael Jordan,” Thomas said. “He said he’s been watching. He said keep killing (but) take the night off when you play us but keep doing your thing.

“That’s crazy. I couldn’t sleep (Friday) night when he said that.”

Thomas said Jordan’s kind words will inspire him to maintain his high standards.

“That was probably the biggest (deal) is to have Michael Jordan say that about me and that he’s taking notice,” Thomas said. “For sure (it motivates me), he’s the greatest player ever. For him to say he’s taking notice in what I’m doing first off lets me know I’m doing something somewhat right and second of all for him to say ‘keep going,’ that’s what I am going to keep doing.”

Thomas used Instagram on Saturday to share a photo he took with Jordan.

Thomas will participate in his second NBA All-Star Game on Sunday. Heeding Jordan’s advice will add to that number in the years to come.

Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images