Skip to main content

James Worthy On College Michael Jordan: "I Was Better Than Michael Jordan, For About 3 Weeks"

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Wherever he arrived, Michael Jordan made an instant impact. He made it with the Chicago Bulls, but that wasn't the beginning of MJ's greatness. During his college days, MJ showed everybody he wasn't just a regular player and that he was ready to take over the team, even surpassing senior players on the roster.

Back in 1981, James Worthy was seen as a future star in the NBA during his last year in North Carolina. At the time, Worthy was the best player in his team, until a young MJ landed and changed things for everybody. In 2017, Worthy recalled how Michael surprised everybody as soon as he arrived at UNC, even becoming the best player of the team just three weeks after his arrival.

“I was better than Michael Jordan… for about three weeks. The first three weeks of practice, and I saw some things in him that I…I mean, he dunked one time on Sam Perkins, and I still don’t know how he did it, Worthy shared, via Essentially Sports. “I saw him in the raw. Most of us were kind of in the raw when we came to coach Smith, and he either slowed you down or he either enhanced your game through his theory.”

Worthy was quick to realize he was in front of a great player, one who would leave a mark in the game. He also recalled Michael was a big success in North Carolina in his first year.

“Michael was an incredible freshman,” Worthy said. “You know, one of the rare moments was that he was able to start. Phil Ford, myself and Michael, I think, was the third freshman ever to start.”

This man was extremely competitive, he always wanted to give fans the best of him, regardless of his condition. MJ was a different breed and he was showing his greatness since freshman year in college. Worthy learned that in three weeks, so that should say how good this kid was.