Michael Jordan was getting shoutouts as the greatest player in basketball history before he’d ever won a championship. But nobody foresaw it.
Jordan’s childhood and schooling can only best be described as fever-pitched. He was a boy full of energy for any and every sport that he could play. He ran track, played baseball, played a bit of football, and he obviously played basketball.
Given his propensity to move on from sport to sport without fixating on one as a middle-schooler, his teachers didn’t see much of a future for him as either a college athlete or as a student.
Now, Jordan was never a fan of academics. But he understood that he had to excel in studies at a certain level to propel his sports career as well. And thus began his grind into becoming a professional athlete who’d rise to the upper echelon of sports.
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Michael Jordan reminisces about his high school principal’s advice on the Arsenio Hall Show
The year was 1990 and Michael Jordan was coming off one of the most impressive campaigns in basketball ever. He’d averaged a staggering 32 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists for the Bulls in 1988-89.
He’d already won MVP honors in his 4th season in the league, but he seemed to go from strength to strength. Jordan would add a move to his repertoire every summer and come back better than the previous year.
It felt like only a matter of time before he’d end up winning a chip. But as a guest on the Arsenio Hall Show, Jordan was still only addressed as ‘Air’ by the comedian.
Hall’s first real question in the interview was regarding how he overcame an initial talent barrier in high school. There’s a famous legend about Michael Jordan being cut from his varsity basketball team. He addressed that partly while reminiscing about his principal’s advice:
“One time, my principal advised me to go to the Air Force Academy. Cuz he felt that after I finished college, I have a job. So I said ‘No, I don’t wanna go that route.'”
“So I decided to go to the University of North Carolina. A lot of people didn’t expect me to do so, but I guess that’s one of the challenges that I faced. Sometimes, you have to face those challenges and see what happens.”
The interview, all-in-all, is a must-watch for basketball aficionados.