Michael Jordan, widely considered to be the GOAT, was once thrown out of a pool for being African American.
Michael Jordan is a living legend. He is obviously one of the greatest to ever play, but the question is, is he the greatest?
Many fans claim so. To be fair, Jordan has a solid case to support his claim atop the NBA throne. In his 15 years in the league, Jordan accomplished so much.
Defensively, he was a 3-time steal champ and made the All-Defensive team 9 times. Offensively, he won the scoring title 10-times.
In terms of offensive output, no other player, other than Wilt Chamberlain, compares. In his 11 playoff appearances, Jordan averaged 33.4 points.
For context, Chamberlain averaged only 22.5 points per game in his 13 playoff seasons, and LeBron James on the other hand has averaged 28.7 points.
So Jordan’s claim to the greatest of all-time title is not farfetched. But even for the gifted superstar, the early days weren’t so easy.
The definition of perfection, MJ too faced racial discrimination as a child. In the book Michael Jordan: The Life, the author recalled one such incident that has stayed with His Airness all these years.
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Michael Jordan was chucked out of a pool
As a child, Michael was still not scared of water. On hot summer days, he would accompany his friends to pools for a dip. Jordan developed a close friendship with his neighbor David Bridgers. MJ and Bridgers, schoolmates, did much of their childhood exploring together.
One day, the two sneaked into a neighbor’s pool. But the two were quickly spotted by the owners who chucked the kids out. Jordan and David immediately realized racial undertones to their neighbor’s behavior.
“One sizzling afternoon before Michael’s fear of swimming took hold, they snuck into a neighbor’s backyard to steal a dip in the pool while they thought the neighbors were away. The people caught the boys in the water and ordered them out, but in such a way that both kids could tell there was a racial motivation involved. “They saw Mike and threw us out,” Bridgers said. “The rest of the bike ride he was very quiet. I asked him if he knew why they threw us out. He said yes. I asked if it bothered him. He said no. Then he just smiled. I’ll never forget it. He said, ‘I got cooled off enough. How about you?’”
Needless to say, Michael lived in a world of rampant discrimination. The book in discussion routinely mentions such interactions of racism.
The Half Spin fadeaway that Michael Jordan mastered has never been done better in my book. pic.twitter.com/iM0sq2wzwB
— The Realest Realist (@TRRealist23) September 26, 2022
The greatness Jordan has found has roots in a terrible time. But ironically, later in his life, he has found respect from all walks of life.
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