In an interview with Marvin R. Shanken cigar lover In 2005, Chicago Bulls and NBA legend Michael Jordan compared his playing days in college to his stellar career in the league.
Jordan was one of UNC’s greatest ever graduates, but he was never a highly regarded national prospect. He said he was drafted third overall in the 1984 draft and had little to no reputation.
Michael Jordan compares his time at UNC to Chicago Bulls
During the interview, Jordan was asked if he enjoyed playing for the Tar Heels more than the Bulls. In this regard, he said:
“I would say it was for the Tar Heels. No one knew me before that. That’s when the notoriety started and it all started with Michael Jordan. When I got to Chicago, I was drafted third overall, so Everyone knows I’m at least decent.”
From the start, Jordan established himself as the team’s performer. In addition to his offensive dominance, he is also known for his inhuman highlight reels. When he said people didn’t know him out of college, he knew he had to prove his point and get everyone’s attention.
“At North Carolina, when they recruited me and invited me to college, it was an opportunity to showcase myself,” he added.
He explained that his high school career did not lead to him becoming a top college recruit. He also said that coming from a small town and not being one of the top 100 high school players, UNC gave him the foundation to be a “decent basketball player, or a good enough basketball player.”
Until then, Michael Jordan, spoiled by the media attention and hype, said his three years with the Tar Heels were “the most satisfying.”
He also talked about the influence of former coach Dean Smith on his early jump to the NBA. The 60-year-old said he didn’t know much about the league, so Smith decided to train him. Although Jordan wasn’t one of the best college players of all time, he did catch the attention of two-time ABA championship coach Kevin Loughery in 1984.
He further explained his draft predictions that year, in which he was a prospect for three NBA teams. He said he was originally supposed to be drafted third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, but because the Bulls started losing a lot of games, they moved up to third and Philadelphia dropped to fifth. Jordan also received assurances from the Houston Rockets that they would select him if they lost to Portland and received the second overall pick.
But as fate would have it, he went third overall in the draft. The Trail Blazers selected Sam Bowie, the Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon, and Michael Jordan ended up being the greatest basketball player of all time.
former tar heel nba champion