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Michael Jordan Made A Classic MJ Pitch To Sam Bowie When The Chicago Bulls Were Trying To Recruit Him: "Sam, You Coming Or Not? We're Winning With Or Without You."

Michael Jordan Made A Classic MJ Pitch To Sam Bowie When The Chicago Bulls Were Trying To Recruit Him: "Sam, You Coming Or Not? We're Winning With Or Without You."

Sam Bowie is known as one of the most infamous draft picks in NBA history after he was chosen No. 2 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the man widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. MJ being picked 3rd sounds ridiculous in hindsight, but even his own GM didn't believe in him at first. Hakeem Olajuwon escaped scrutiny by himself, winning multiple titles and becoming one of the best players in the history of the league. Bowie wasn't so lucky. 

Injuries played a role in the big man's career, not quite panning out, but even as a role player, he might have ended up becoming an NBA champion. Because, as fate would have it, he almost ended up joining the Chicago Bulls and teaming up with the man he was picked ahead of. 

It went as far as the Bulls calling up Bowie, with Phil Jackson, Jerry Krause, and Michael Jordan himself having a conversation with the big man about coming to the team. Jordan's trainer Tim Grover gave insight into the conversation in his book, 'Winning: The Unforgiving Race To Greatness', revealing exactly what MJ said during the call with Bowie. 

“At one point, Bulls management asked him to be part of a conference call with Sam Bowie, who was a free agent at the time. Everyone made their pitch to Sam about why he should join the Bulls and how much the team wanted and needed him in Chicago.

“Phil made his pitch, along with Jerry Krause and Scottie…and then it was MJ’s turn. ‘Sam, you coming or not? We’re winning with or without you.’ His belief in himself was so powerful he never doubted the outcome.”

Jordan, who was famous for taking everything personally, probably always had a chip on his shoulder for being selected after Bowie, something that probably also drove him. This conversation provides perspective, more than anything else, on just how confident MJ was that he would emerge victorious at the end, something necessary to achieve the status that he did.