Many know who Dominique Wilkins is, but for sure, some of the modern-day NBA fans are not aware that "The Human Highlight Film" played 77 games of his Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics. That happened during the 1994/95 season. But if you think seeing Wilkins rock the green jersey was already bizarre, the fact that the Celtics even attempted to sign Michael Jordan that same year would surely blow your minds.
As we all know, Jordan left the game in 1993 after his father's death. No one knew what MJ would do, not even the Chicago Bulls. The only thing certain was that Jordan and the Bulls were fresh off their first three-peat. However, former Celtics general manager M.L. Carr had a bold prediction.
According to Carr, he knew "Michael was not gone forever," so in his mind, why not take the opportunity to lure "His Airness" to join Boston while he wasn't tied up with Chicago? Carr said then-Bulls GM Jerry Krause denied that they had a conversation about it, but he totally understood why because that would've put him in a very difficult situation if the Bulls organization knew he was discussing the potential departure of Jordan.
The deal never progressed, and the Celtics carried on with Wilkins instead. Wilkins said he would've been pleased when asked about his thoughts on possibly playing with MJ that season, especially knowing that with him and Jordan on the same team meant more wins for the Celtics.
"That would have been nice," a laughing Wilkins told Heavy in 2017. "We would have gone farther in the playoffs, that is for sure."
Nique is not convinced
Because the Celtics' attempt to recruit Jordan never made many headlines at the time, Carr understands why it's hard to believe it happened. While some consider it a rumor, Carr likes to look back at it as a failed attempt to pull off a lucrative and historic deal.
"I thought, [Jordan] had already done it in that Chicago uniform, if he got a chance to come to Boston, put on the green, what a great thing that would be from a marketing standpoint," Carr said in 2020. "I think it was a long shot but I was willing to give it a shot."
As for Wilkins, no matter how legit Carr's revelation appeared, he's still not convinced that Boston tried to pounce on Jordan.
"I'd have to loved to play with him [Jordan], are you kidding?," Wilkins said in 2020 via NBC Sports. "But, if that was true, you would have heard about that before now."
Regardless of the truth, it's quite satisfying to hear that at one point, the Celtics could've changed history by trying their luck in recruiting the greatest player of all time.