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Teenage Michael Jordan 'Cried In His Room' After One Of His Closest Friends Made The High School Varsity Team Over Him

Teenage Michael Jordan 'Cried In His Room' After One Of His Closest Friends Made The High School Varsity Team Over Him

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time after taking the NBA by storm in the mid-80s. The Chicago Bulls legend brought the best of his game to the league as soon as he landed, shocking a lot of people with his talent and demonstrating that he was serious about winning. 

Even though he was great from the get-go, it took a few years for Jordan to win in the NBA, but as we all know now, he never gave up. Jordan used to take things personally on the court, which fueled his competitiveness and drove him to be better than the rest of the players on the court. 

This is a well-known fact about him, but not so many people might know where that comes from. During his teenage year, MJ was trying to make it to his high school varsity team, but his height prevented him from making the team, instead going to the JV squad. 

In an old interview with Sports Illustrated (via Bleacher Report), Jordan's former high school Clifton Herring explained what really happened. Standing at 5'10", he showed his heart and love for the game, but that wasn't enough since he lacked something important: height. 

"There was no doubt that Mike Jordan could handle the ball, but his shooting was merely good and his defense mediocre. Mike Jordan was seven or eight inches shorter than Michael Jordan would be, only 5’10″ at age 15, and at least one assistant coach had never heard of him before that day. If Jordan distinguished himself at all during the tryout, it was through his supreme effort."

After learning he didn't make it to the team, Jordan felt bad. That feeling just got worse when he realized that one of his best friends did make it and probably solely because of his height. 

"The Laney Bucs did have one major weakness, and that was size. They didn't have a returning player taller than 6'3″…In those days it was rare for sophomores to make varsity. Herring made one exception in 1978, one designed to remedy his team's height disadvantage. This is part of the reason Mike Jordan went home and cried in his room after reading the two lists. It wasn't just that his name was missing from the varsity roster. It was also that as he scanned the list, he saw the name of another sophomore, one of his close friends, the 6'7″ Leroy Smith." 

Even though this was hurtful, MJ never gave up. He kept training, ready to return better and stronger than ever. In the end, he did it, making it to the team, becoming a solid figure, and earning a lot of attention during those years. The rest is history, as the player became a 6-time NBA champion, 5-time MVP award winner, 10-time scoring champion, and many more things. 

It wasn't an easy journey, but Jordan never backed down from a challenge.