Michael Jordan Went To North Carolina Because UCLA And Virginia Were LazyBasketball, Ed The Sports Fan — By Eddie Maisonet, III on April 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm
Andrew Wiggins will soon make the decision on where he will take his talents for his freshman year of college to play basketball, take classes with 200+ people and have regular interactions with college-aged women. They say college days swiftly pass, imbued with fond memories, and for Wiggins his choice has narrowed down to either Florida State or Kentucky. FSU, being the school he grew up learning about from his parents, both of whom are alumni, and UK, the current kings of the recruiting world while taking aim at national titles and first-round draft picks in the process. Both schools know what’s at stake by acquiring the services of Wiggins, and neither will stop until the decision’s been made.
While perusing Playboy Online (I SWEAR ON EVERYTHING I WAS JUST READING THE ARTICLES, PLEASE BELIEVE ME) I came across an interesting read on Michael Jordan back in 1992. Jordan talked with Playboy about his recruitment process, from the initial recruitment of North Carolina back in his junior year, to his real desires to possibly play for UCLA and Virginia instead.
Playboy: Was North Carolina your first choice?
Jordan: I always wanted to go to UCLA. That was my dream school.
Jordan: Because when I was growing up, they were a great team. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, John Wooden. But I never got recruited by UCLA.
Playboy: Even after your success in the Five-Star camp?
Jordan: By the time they wanted to recruit me, they had heard that I was going to stay close to home, which was not necessarily true. I also wanted to go to Virginia because I wanted to play with Ralph Sampson for his last two years there. He was going into his junior year. I wrote to Virginia, but they just sent me back an admission form. No one came and watched me. Then I visited North Carolina and I was happy with the atmosphere, so I committed early.
Just a couple of quick things to think about …
One: I fundamentally believe that if Michael Jordan goes to UCLA, it’s possible that the Bruins never suffer the 20-year title drought that transpired after John Wooden left the head coaching mountaintop in Westwood. Moreover, UCLA would probably still be able to claim its rights to the throne of being a “blueblood” in college basketball. Currently, UCLA is just “another school on the West Coast” as coaches from piddly schools like Butler and VCU have the AUDACITY to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Two: Ralph Sampson at the peak of collegiate superpowers along with two years of Michael Jordan playing ball in Charlottesville? You realize that putting MJ/Sampson together means that the entire Jim Valvano story probably doesn’t happen. Maybe the iconic Carolina Blue color doesn’t transcend in such a way if Jordan doesn’t come to Chapel Hill, and maybe Jay-Z isn’t then inspired to rap an entire verse consisting of Carolina Blue references. Could you even imagine if he wrote about navy blue and orange?
But UCLA didn’t even try to recruit MJ, and Virginia just sent an admission form back to Jordan, after the man wrote them first. Admittedly, even the great Michael Jordan didn’t have the buzz that Andrew Wiggins did, but it’s funny how things in college basketball are different if someone from UCLA or Virginia would’ve just picked up the damned phone and called the Jordan household.