“Went from Mike to Michael Jordan”: What MJ felt after hitting North Carolina’s iconic NCAA tournament-winning jumpshot in 1982 alongside Dean Smith and co

Michael Jordan first burst onto the national spotlight after hitting one of the most momentous game-winners in NCAA championship history.

The University of North Carolina has one of the most prestigious basketball programs in the history of North American sports. Coach Dean Smith was an institution unto himself through his 39 years spent at Chapel Hill.

Dean Smith was the kind of guardian who’d take utmost care of the young players under his wing. He’d institute the principles of hard work, discipline and dogged determination that Michael Jordan would later go on to exemplify.

There’s no doubt that Michael Jordan would’ve been MJ, His Airness, even without the influence of his head coach. After all, he’s possibly the most competitive individual to ever walk this planet. But there’s also no doubt that Dean Smith’s mentoring pushed him to that level sooner.

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Michael Jordan recollects how he felt after winning UNC’s NCAA-winning shot in 1982

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 years and change, you’ve probably heard about perhaps the best sports-related documentary series ever made – The Last Dance.

This 10-part documented how the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls entered their championship defense. It went into depth into the lives of the 3 pillars of the Bulls’ second threepeat. The series has received universal praise, having showcased the truth of how hard sustained sporting success truly is.

Michael Jordan was interviewed by Good Morning America midway through the release of the documentary, 2 years ago. One of the questions he answered was about his momentous game-winner at the 1982 NCAA championships and how it changed his life for the better:

“Well, up until that point, no one knew who I was; I was a college kid and other than the University,. Outside the University, I was just known as Mike Jordan, and when I hit that shot, my whole name became Michael Jordan.”

“I think it resonated with a lot of people outside of UNC. I just started piling on that name itself from the success that I endured throughout the rest of my career. It wasn’t about Mike; it was more about Michael.”

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