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Former Bulls Coach On Michael Jordan: “I Wish I Would Have Known When I Had Taken The Job How Good He Really Was Going To Be.”

Michael Jordan

We all know the epic story of Michael Jordan's dominance in the 90s. At the time, his fame transcended the game itself and he become of the most widely recognized people on planet Earth. 

Before all that, however, Jordan was just an aspiring star with a ton to prove.

When MJ was drafted in 1984, it would be seven years before he'd win his first title and it was almost impossible to predict just how good he would become.

Even his former coach, Doug Collins, failed to fully comprehend just how special MJ really was.

(via Glen Macnow & Ray Didinger on 94WIP)

“I wish I would have known when I taken the job how good Michael really was going to be," said Collins. "I mean, Michael had just come off the playoffs where he had had a broken foot. During the year he had missed, I think all but 18 games. He then came back in the playoffs. And I mean the show he put on in Boston garden against the Celtics. I think Larry Bird had a comment one time he said the guy who I just played against god or somebody who was disguising himself as Michael Jordan.”

Collins coached the Bulls from 1986 to 1989, an era that is mostly remembered for Jordan's amazing 63-point playoff game against Larry Bird's Celtics. It's after the game when Bird uttered the now-famous line (the one coach Collins mentions in his interview).

It wasn't enough to get past the Celtics, who hung on to a 4-point triumph, but it was definitely enough to get Larry Bird's attention.

“I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan," Bird told the Boston Globe back in the day, and he doubled down on that words during his interview for 'The Last Dance', adding that he was something he had never seen before on a basketball court.

Years later, MJ would lead the Bulls to six titles and cement his place in sports history.

While the signs of greatness were there from the start, you can't blame folks for not predicting what he'd become. Even for people who witnessed Jordan's early career, it was impossible for them to think he could have achieved all that he did over an entire decade. But, by the end, he had everybody looking back in awe and wonder.

It really makes you wonder which young star today is going to cause a similar effect.