North Carolina Apparently Needed Some Convincing Before Signing Michael Jordan Out Of High School

01.24.17 2 years ago

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Michael Jordan, famous for the meme that features him crying, was also a hell of a basketball player in the pre-Internet era. He starred in college at North Carolina, where he won a national title and went on to become one of the greatest baseball players in minor-league history to have once played in the NBA. (Oh yeah, he also won a few NBA titles.)

Roy Williams was an assistant at UNC in the 1980s and told a story on The Sidelines podcast (via Fox Sports) about how it was anything but a slam dunk (basketball term) that Jordan would come to Chapel Hill. Jordan grew up in the state but UNC was lukewarm on him. Said Williams:

“It was strange because we get a call from Mike Brown, who was the athletic director from the Hanover County schools, telling us that there was a player down there that he thought had a chance to be possibly something special,” Williams said. “Coach [Bill Guthridge] went down to watch him play a game his junior year and he played OK. But [Guthridge] came back and said ‘Yeah he’s athletic. But all he did was shoot a lot of long jump shots.’”

Assuming all those long jump shots were going in, that’s a weird negative assessment. “Yeah, he’s athletic, but all he does is run for long touchdowns.” Those still count, right? There were no three-pointers at this time, but still. Come on, coach Guthridge.

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