Unanimously associated with the Bulls, with whom he won his six NBA champion rings, Michael Jordan does not however make his time in the franchise his best career experience. Indeed, another team would remain more in his heart!
Just as the number 23 made an impression, rather than the 9, 12 or 45 that he was able to wear occasionally, only one jersey remains associated with him in the common imagination. Arrived at the Bulls one evening in June 1984, Michael Jordan proudly carried the colors until 1998, collecting a few trophies here and there. For many, he is even the one who put Chicago on the NBA map.
Despite a break of about two years after a memorable first Three-Peat, the two parties tied the perfect love for three and a half more seasons, synonymous with another hat-trick. No wonder, therefore, that His Airness’ freelance work with the Wizards remains only anecdotal today. Moreover, it is not of his stay in Washington DC that MJ keeps the best memories… nor of that in Chi-Town.
Michael Jordan more fulfilled in the NCAA than at the Bulls
In an interview for Cigar AficionadoJordan, called to decide between the Bulls and North Carolina, had thus privileged his passage on the university circuit:
It’s a good question. I would say I had more fun with the Tar Heels. No one knew me at the time. That’s when the notoriety and everything else happened. When I landed in Chicago, I was drafted 3rd, so everyone knew I was pretty good.
Conversely, in North Carolina, when they recruited me and asked me to join their university, it was an opportunity for me to prove. Until then, everyone said I was good enough, but no one knew how good. I was from a small town, I wasn’t an All-American, I wasn’t in the Top 100 on the high school circuit, I hadn’t played in AAU games. I wasn’t even ranked.
Almost anonymous when he arrived on the North Carolina campus, Mike truly made a name for himself on the basketball planet, and did not have to deal with the constant pressure that may have accompanied him in the NBA. It is therefore with greater nostalgia that he thinks back to this period of his life, which, according to him, allowed him to become the legend he represents today:
The University of North Carolina really allowed me to build the foundation I needed to become a basketball player. Before that, I had never found myself in the spotlight. I was still raw. So I was determined to prove to everyone that I was good, or good enough to play in North Carolina. It was by far the purest experience for me, and the most satisfying.
Author of 13 legendary seasons with the Bulls, Michael Jordan nevertheless claims to have felt more joy when defending the colors of North Carolina. Like what, the celebrity he inherited in the NBA was really not a gift for him!