EXCLUSIVEMichael Jordan's alleged baby mama never planned to file a paternity suit against the NBA legend -- until her son pleaded with her to make his famous (alleged) dad step up to the plate ... TMZ has learned.
As TMZ first reported, Pamela Smith is suing Michael for paternity and child support, claiming Jordan knocked her up back in 1995, while he was still married to Juanita Vanoy.
Sources close to Smith tell TMZ that she's always had a good relationship with Michael and doesn't need the money to support herself. But we're told her son -- Grant Reynolds (a.k.a Taj) -- desperately wants MJ to acknowledge him as his son, so HE begged his mom to file the docs.
We're told Pamela's intention was never to "call Michael out" -- the lawsuit is simply so her 16-year-old son can have his real (alleged) father be a bigger part of his life.
In fact, we're told Michael and Grant have met a few times over the years and Pamela claims Michael has given the family money and gifts here and there ... but Grant always had to keep it a secret.
Calls to MJ's rep were not returned.