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Michael Jordan Once Admitted His Father Wanted Him to Copy NFL Legends to Follow His Passion in Sports: “When He Saw the Bo Jacksons and the Deion Sanders”

Published 08/15/2022, 10:30 AM EDT

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One of the biggest reasons for the success of Michael Jordan was his father. The NBA Hall of Famer credits his father for showing him the right direction and always being there for him. Growing up, his father even pushed him to play other sports after being enamored with historic athletes who played in multiple major leagues in the country.

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MJ was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984 after three years in college. Jordan excelled with the North Carolina Tar Heels and won the national championship as a freshman. He revealed that his father had been trying to get him into multiple sports in college.


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In an interview with GQ, Jordan was asked whether his father pushed him to play two sports. MJ said, “He’d been trying ever since college“. He continued, “I started with baseball, and I got away from it when I went to North Carolina“. His father gave examples of Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders to motivate him.

He always said, when he saw the Bo Jacksons and the Deion Sanders playing two sports“, MJ revealed. Both Jackson and Sanders played in the NFL as well as the MLB. While Jackson is the only professional athlete to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football, Sanders is the only one to have appeared in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.

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MJ remembered his father used to say, “Hey, you could have done the same thing. At least try it“. Jordan eventually gave a shot to baseball after retiring from basketball in 1993. However, he only played Minor League Baseball and returned to the NBA in 1995.

Michael Jordan is an icon of basketball


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Michael Jordan‘s name is synonymous with basketball. He is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. MJ won six NBA champions and was named the Finals MVP in each triumph. The Chicago Bulls legend played in the NBA for 15 seasons.

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While he couldn’t emulate Jackson and Sanders, MJ became an icon of basketball. His father was tragically murdered in July 1993. It was a major reason why Jordan retired from basketball and started playing baseball.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Why does Michael Jordan have yellow eyes?

After winning his fourth championship on Father’s day, MJ dedicated the victory to his dad. What are your thoughts on Jordan possibly emulating Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Pragya Vashisth


One take at a time

Pragya is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed Masters in Sports Management from the International Institute of Sports Management, Mumbai, he has been a passionate fan of the NBA since 2010. Pragya is a massive supporter of LeBron James and just wants to enjoy the twilight years of his Hall of Fame career.
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Edited by:

Paras Pande