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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

‘He Never Freaking Turned It off’

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Michael Jordan was a big fan of FPS gaming, and he even introduced the first eSports team to his sneaker company. Despite this, most people forget that one time when MJ lost in Halo 3 on Legendary without turning off his controller.

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Michael Jordan was born near the conclusion of his freshman year, after he made the game-winning shot in the 1982 National Championship game against Georgetown. But he was simply Mike Jordan when he arrived to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Mike became Michael, who became a six-time NBA champion, who became The GOAT for a reason. He worked. It’s a simple explanation, really, just two words long.

No one realized they were in the company of a future Hall of Famer when Mike arrived on campus to play for the Tar Heels. But they could see from the start that he had the work ethic to get him there.

Mike Jordan was a highly touted high school football prospect.

Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore, according to legend. In retrospect, it’s easy to understand how it would push MJ to become one of the finest prep players in the nation, but it certainly didn’t helped that he grew from 5-foot-10 to 6-3 during his junior season.

Mike was simply another athlete in 1980, according to 247Sports, but one that famous North Carolina Head Coach Dean Smith had unearthed in his own neighborhood.

Jordan, on the other hand, had become widely known and highly recruited by the end of the year. His unrivaled athleticism was immediately obvious to anybody who seen him play.

Mike went to a UNC summer camp and “destroyed everyone in the camp,” according to future Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams.

Jordan, on the other hand, kept slipping into exercises he wasn’t meant to be in, according to Smith. No one was able to keep the adolescent off the court.

Michael Jordan speaks to the North Carolina crowd at the Dean Smith Center. At halftime of North Carolina’s game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Dean Smith Center, Michael Jordan addresses the audience. | Getty Images/Streeter Lecka

Jordan came on school and informed Williams, according to CNBC, that he wanted to be the greatest player to ever play at Carolina. (The institution had previously won an NCAA Championship and more than a dozen conference crowns at the time, so it was a big boast.)

Williams reminded Jordan that he would have to work more than he did in high school, and Jordan answered that he was the hardest worker on his Laney High squad.

“‘Excuse me,’ I said. I thought you just said you wanted to be the greatest player in the history of this place,’” According to the CNBC piece, Williams stated he told Jordan. ‘I’m going to demonstrate.’ Jordan said, “No one will ever work as hard as I do.”

There is where the legends begin.

Smith described him as “one of the most competitive [players] we’ve ever had in our exercises.”

“After about 2.5 hours of rigorous practice, I’m walking off the court, like, saturated [in] sweat, fatigued,” Mike’s teammate and future Hall of Famer James Worthy recounted. Michael then pushes me back into the court, eager to play a one-on-one game to assess where his game was at.”

Williams simply said, “He never frickin turned it off.”

Michael Jordan was known as The GOAT because of his competitiveness and passion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Scbk21 BM8

Before being picked by the Chicago Bulls, the 6-foot-6 guard spent three seasons at Carolina. He averaged 13.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in his rookie season.

He hit a game-winning jumper against Georgetown and went on to average 20.0 points the next year and 19.6 points his junior year. Smith’s four-corner offensive approach hindered him from scoring even more points, despite the fact that rival defenders were probably not to blame.

He went on to become Michael Jordan, winning six championships, five MVP awards, and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. But it all began at Chapel Hill, when an 18-year-old Jordan demonstrated to a Hall of Fame coaching staff and a squad full of Hall of Fame players that he was prepared to work harder than any of them.

Sports Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: Michael Jordan hasn’t played a game in 18 years, but a $1.47 million pair of shoes proves he still rules the basketball world.

The “worthy jordan north carolina” is a basketball game that was played between North Carolina and the University of Jordan. The game ended with UNC winning by one point, despite the fact that their star player never turned it off.

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