Decades After Surreal Michael Jordan Prediction, 73YO Coach Discloses Father James Jordan’s Unknown Talent

Published 09/06/2023, 7:33 AM EDT

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Usually, the all-time greats show their potential from a very young age. Whether it was LeBron James dominating high school or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s perfection, history has many such instances. However, a surprising name who wasn’t in the same breath is Michael Jordan. He’s universally in the conversation for being the greatest of all time. Yet, despite never-ending debates, his beginnings were far more humble.

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But there was one man whose belief was strong in His Airness. Years after his belief in the Chicago Bulls legend led the way to a phenomenal career, North Carolina High School’s longstanding coach revealed an interesting talent of Mr. James Jordan.

The Heart of Jordan

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As a high schooler, Michael showed flashes of the eventual brilliance. However, he wasn’t a lock to make it big. But, even with the existing questions, coach Roy Williams had complete faith in his young protégé. That faith became the foundation of an everlasting bond.

So much so that even Mike’s dad, James, got close with Williams. Speaking about his kindness, Roy couldn’t help but gush about the legendary man. “January 24th of Michael’s senior year in high school. I had talked to Mr. Jordan about how I was gonna buy a wood stove. So, he called me one night and he said he was coming up and he handed me a stove.” 

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Continuing the story of that fateful night, Roy reveals more details. “It was heavy. We get it out of the truck, put it in, and start it. And, it works.” When Coach tried to write James a cheque, an interesting detail came to the front. “If you write me a cheque, I’m taking it out and putting it in my track…I made this for you…I built this for you.”

Even though blown away, Coach didn’t expect anything more out of the situation. But the story went deeper. “We moved to another house… Mr. Jordan came over, measured it again, and built me a second one… When I took the job at Kansas… The realtor says, ‘Is that a Fisher wood stove?’ And I said, ‘No, that’s a Jordan… Mr. James Jordan built that for me.” 

While James’ gesture is incredibly sweet, it came to a man forever tied to his name and legacy. After all, it was Coach Williams who first went all in on MJ.

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The genesis of Michael Jordan

Way before the accolades and the six championships, Jordan was a 6’4 guard at the University of North Carolina. The former owner of the Charlotte Hornets would leave an indelible mark on Coach, though. As Williams recalls, his exact impression was, “the best 6-foot-4-inch player I had ever seen.” 

Throughout the years, many factors have been cited as reasons for Mike’s unparalleled success. Whether it be athletic prowess, surreal skill, work ethic, drive, competitiveness, tenacity, or even ego, a lot of factors shaped Michael into becoming the GOAT.

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Through it all, he had the willpower to persevere. And a coach who believed.

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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Priyanshu Choudhary is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. Basketball has been his favorite sport for over a decade, and he has written close to 300 articles. If asked what he loves about the sport, Priyanshu would cite the technique, the breakdown, the ebb and flow and the theatrics that have endeared him since 2009.
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Edited by:

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