Contrary to popular belief, Jordan was never cut from the basketball team at Laney High in Wilmingon, North Carolina. Jordan was simply “placed” on the junior varsity team, according to a profile of his then-coach in Sports Illustrated—but he hardly showed signs of becoming a game-changing talent.
“There was no doubt that Mike Jordan could handle the ball, but his shooting was merely good and his defense mediocre,” his coaches said. But 15-year-old Mike Jordan (he was “Mike” then) was still far from the incandescent superstar he later became. Jordan drew motivation from the slight to out-work, out-hustle, and out-practice the competition until he became, well, Michael Jordan.Back to top