Monday, April 6, 2009

Jordan to Heels: Have fun

DETROIT — Since he didn't do it when North Carolina won the 2005 national championship in St. Louis, Michael Jordan doesn't plan to speak to the Tar Heels before they play Michigan State for the NCAA title tonight at Ford Field.

But if he was to talk to them, he said he'd repeat what legendary coach Dean Smith told him before the 1982 national championship game:

"Just go out there and have fun. These are the games that are a lot of fun, because the expectations are a lot higher, the craziness is a lot higher, the stakes are a lot higher — but that's what you live for. That's the fun part, so just go out there and be who you are and have fun."

Jordan, who hit the Tar Heels' game-winning shot in that title game, was announced as one of the members of this year's Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class this morning. It seemed fitting that it would happen when the Tar Heels were in town, trying to win another title.

"It's uncanny how things happen,'' Jordan said. "I'm glad to be here, I'm glad that North Carolina's playing, I'm glad they're playing in a game I can watch and enjoy, and hopefully we can walk out of here with a championship."

Other tidbits from his press conference:

  • Riding over on the bus to the national title game in 1982, Jordan said he knew "that I was going to have an impact at some point, in some fashion. How that was going to translate, I didn't know -- but low and behold, I made the game-winning shot. But that was the vision that I saw."
  • There's a running one-liner that the only person who could show Jordan was Smith. Jordan's response: "It's a pretty good joke. But I did average 19 points my junior year, and people tend to forget that. My scoring was going up each year just because of all the things coach taught me about utilizing my skills. And then when I went to the pros, obviously my scoring average went up. So it wasn't as if he held me back, he just taught me more about the game of basketball. And too many times today, people look at the scoring aspect and say, 'What did Coach Smith do to keep you from excelling as a basketball players?' Well, I did excel as a basketball player. I take it as a joke ... but he taught me a lot of aspects of the game other than scoring."

14 comments:

Kev said...

"There's a running one-liner that the only person who could show Jordan was Smith." Should that be "slow" Jordan? If so where has quality control gone? Do these folks check their work?

Anonymous said...

I thought the joke was "the only person who could hold Jordan under 20 points was Smith"?

Anonymous said...

There were 2 sections at Ford Field with UNC fans. Are you guys to lazy to make the trip to Detroit or do you know your team will lose?

If Duke was in the final 4, half the building would be Duke fans no matter where it was at. Here 5,000 out of 72,000 are from NC. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

2:38: It's a little stupid to compare driving halfway across the country to driving over from Lansing. Try not to be an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous..we live in NC. We have jobs.

Anonymous said...

hey idiot,

Dook doesn't have 36000 alums still alive much less enough fans to fill up half of Ford field. I can promise you the two sections of fans you saw were students.

And, by the way idiot, where will your team be watching the game tonight???? That's right!!!!

David said...

Hey Duke guy,

Its a lot harder to get to Michigan from NC than it is from New Jersey. Go back home. Also, the key part of that sentence was IF Duke was in the Final Four...well, they aren't and we are.

Anonymous said...

too bad coach K was upset at the end of last season, disappointed in the fan turn out in cameron 7,000 seat cameron that wasnt routinely being sold out for all its non conference games. pretty sure UNC had alot more than 7,000 in 23,000 seat smith center than that....

Anonymous said...

Thats because down here us good ol' country boys have JOBS and we have to go to WORK tommorrow moron...plus the game will be over by halftime....maybe I should remind you of December??? 35 points??? Ring a bell? We arent worried about you.....

Anonymous said...

The reason we didn't drive to Detroit. WE GOT JOBS!!! and who wants to pay big bucks to watch diamond vision. I gotta a better view on my 60" plasma. Besides sparty stinks

Anonymous said...

Let's go State! You have the entire country coming together and pulling for ya!

Anonymous said...

Hey Duke Guy, you guys couldn't even fill the arena in Greensboro for the first round of the NCAA tourney. Yeah, I'm sure you guys would turn Detroit Duke Blue........Give me a break

Anonymous said...

"If Duke was in the final 4"

A Duke alumnus I used to work with had a saying, " If if's and but's were candy and nuts, then everyday would be Christmas.... I wonder how many Dook fans understand this???

Anonymous said...

Duke fans don't travel. They all complained about UNC fans at regional the same regional Duke fans could buy tickets to but didn't.