James Bouknight discloses how Michael Jordan personally gave him a few pointers after a bad outing. The Charlotte Hornets rookie went off for 23-point and 8-assists performance the next game.
The Charlotte Hornets are one of the young and dynamic teams in the league, and because of their flashy game and explosiveness, they surely are must-watch TV for any basketball lover. This past 2020-2021 season, with LaMelo Ball playing point guard alongside highflyers Miles Bridges and PJ Washington, and veteran Gordon Hayward, the team won 33 games showing a lot of promise for the future.
Over the past few years, the Hornets front office has been making all the right decisions during the Draft night. Charlotte drafted PJ Washington as the 12th pick of the 2019 Draft, picked up Melo as the 3rd pick in last year’s draft, and this year too have had some good picks – James Bouknight, Kai Jones and Scottie Lewis.
Many analysts believed that UCONN’s Bouknight would be a top 10 pick for sure. This is why the Charlotte organisation didn’t expect to see him available and happily drafted him as their 11th pick.
James Bouknight reveals how Michael Jordan called him and gave a few pointers after a bad performance
James highly-anticipated Summer League debut was actually pretty promising irrespective of the 93-86 loss. The forward played a team-high 27 minutes and ended his night with 19 points on an efficient 50/33/100 shooting split. However, he did have a fall in production the next night against the Sacramento Kings. In an 80-70 loss, Bouknight put up only 11 points, on an ineffective 4-11 shooting from the field.
On the bright side, James was the first one to criticise his own game. He knew what he did wrong and what had to be improved. After the game, the 11th pick said:
“That second game I just wasn’t myself. At times, I was selfish. Wasn’t really sharing the ball. I was lackadaisical. I wasn’t really playing with that New York swag and that type of confidence I usually play with.”
The 20-year-old also revealed how the GOAT Michael Jordan gave him a call after his terrible 2nd game performance. Apparently, their call lasted for about 5 or 10 minutes, wherein Mike helped his rookie diagnose his game. James said:
“Not many 20-year-olds, first year in the league, can say that the best player ever to touch the basketball is calling them and helping, giving them pointers. So I took that to heart and I took that personal and did my best to have a good game.”
After struggling in second summer-league game, James Bouknight got a call from Michael Jordan.@jam3s210: “He critiqued my game, told me what he saw. Not many 20-year-olds fresh in the league can say the best player to ever pick up a basketball is calling to give them pointers.”
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) August 12, 2021
And definitely, that call from his team owner helped the 6-foot-5 player. In the very next game, James had an incredible 23 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds outing in a disheartening 106-105 loss against the Spurs.
James Bouknight impresses once again for the Hornets 🔥 @jam3s210
Can’t wait to watch that Charlotte backcourt this year 👀 pic.twitter.com/nN5igmIgVq
— Overtime (@overtime) August 12, 2021
With the glimpse of what we have seen from Bouknight, the Hornets have really gotten a steal with their 11th pick. No doubt, James will be given a much bigger role once the 2021-2022 regular-season starts.