North Carolina Rumors
The current record for an NBA kit belongs to a signed Kobe Bryant jersey that sold for $3.69 million in May. The previous high was $1.38 million, set by a Michael Jordan North Carolina piece. The Chamberlain uniform sold for $700,000 in 2019. Collectable said the uniform was likely worn for every home game during Chamberlain’s rookie year, when he averaged 38 points and 27 rebounds for the 49-26 Philadelphia Warriors.
In that famed summer of 1980, while Pinckney, Ewing and Mullin previewed their future dominance in the Big East down in Honesdale, a scrawny unknown kid with a forgettable name had coaches in Pittsburgh asking the same question over and over: Who the hell is Mike Jordan? While his peers scrambled, Roy Williams positioned himself at each of Jordan’s stations, grinning like a Cheshire cat. Weeks earlier, Williams, then just a second-year assistant to Dean Smith, spied Jordan at North Carolina’s own camp, mesmerized not just by the player’s obvious skill but his commitment. He wasn’t entirely an unknown commodity. Bill Guthridge watched him in a high school game earlier but wasn’t quite sure about him. He’d only shot jump shots that night, and so Guthridge couldn’t vouch for Jordan’s athleticism. The staff decided to extend an invite to their summer camp, so they could evaluate him a little more and get an early inside track.
At the Carolina camp, Williams worked at Carmichael Gym, where players would come in groups of 20 in the afternoon for 30-minute runs of pickup. Jordan not only asked to stay an extra session, but after hoofing it the mile or so back to the Granville Tower dorms once his extra time ended, he walked all the way back in the Carolina heat to play again. That night Williams and fellow assistant Eddie Fogler sat around talking about players they liked that day. “I’ll never forget this,’’ Williams says. “I looked at Eddie and said, ‘I just saw the best 6-4 player I’ve ever seen.’’’ Fogler thought Williams was crazy. Jordan’s name didn’t appear anywhere on Street & Smith’s top 650 players. Fogler watched Jordan for himself the next day, as did Smith. “From then on, Coach Smith had breakfast or lunch with Michael every day,’’ Williams says with a laugh. When camp ended, Williams asked Jordan’s high school coach, Clifton Herring, about Jordan’s summer plans.
That summer in Pittsburgh, Brendan Malone, then a Syracuse assistant who would go on to be an NBA head coach, had to rush home after his wife was involved in a moped accident. He entrusted his pick to Konchalski, telling him to take Aubrey Sherrod, the stud guard out of Kansas. Instead after watching the games, he selected Jordan. “Who the f— is Mike Jordan?” Malone exploded, upon returning to camp to see his team. “By the end of the week they handed out five individual awards,’’ Williams says. “He got all five of them.’’
Former North Carolina basketball and NBA star Rasheed Wallace has been named the head coach at NC Good Better Best Academy in North Carolina, according to a tweet from the program on Wednesday. It becomes the second head coaching job of Wallace’s coaching career, with a high school job being the head coaching job that he previously held. Wallace ended his NBA career in 2013 and then transitioned into coaching, working with the Detroit Pistons as an assistant coach for one year. He then didn’t coach again for a while until March of 2019, when Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, hired him to be the head coach.
The Charlotte Hornets and Bank of America this month partnered for the seventh annual Military Care event. This year’s unique initiative saw the full Hornets team and coaching staff, along with 90 volunteers from the two organizations working at home, partner to pack 3,000 care kits to be distributed by the USO of North Carolina to military service members who are required to self-isolate after deployment for 14 days at a quarantine facility before returning home to loved ones. “It is extremely important that we show our gratitude for our troops and the protection they provide,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Even though we could not gather in person like we have in previous years, we are pleased that we were able to continue to partner with our friends at Bank of America to provide these care kits as a way of offering our thanks to our military service members.”