Sunday, September 13, 2009

The truth about Jordan's high school varsity cut

In all the pageantry of the next couple of days, you can bet that only one blemish on the Jordan record will come up, and I suspect it will be mentioned again and again, because it fits a certain heroic narrative: Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school team.

We have been told that in this early disgrace lay the seed of his greatness. As the story goes, he became mad as a hatter, practiced furiously, and set himself on the course to greatness.

Only, it's not true. He was never cut from anything.

The story, instead, is that at his high school at that time sophomores, even the good ones, played junior varsity. As a sophomore, as planned, Jordan had a great season on the junior varsity, before progressing to varsity for his junior and senior seasons.

As it happened, a size-starved varsity team did make an exception. They took on Jordan's tall sophomore friend Leroy Smith, which may or may not have chapped Jordan.

But he was certainly never sent home.
--Henry Abbott, ESPN.com, on a truth behind the myth of MJ

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