There are millions of articles out there focused on everything Mike has accomplished during his iconic basketball career, yet there are few to mention the failures. And there have been many failures and disappointments, even for Mike.
One of Jordan’s most famous quotes is about succeeding through failure. Many of you have probably heard it many times.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
But what is the biggest failure of Michael Jordan’s career?
He failed to make the Varsity team during his sophomore year of high school.
The main reason why Jordan failed to make the varsity team of Emsley A. Laney High School was his height. He was only 5-foot-10 back then and the coach at the time, Clifton “Pop” Herring, felt the team needed more length. Another reason for MJ not making varsity was the fact the team had many seniors, so it made more sense to send Mike to Junior Varsity, rather than having him as a benchwarmer on the varsity team.
Michael Jordan was inducted to the Basketball Hall of fame back in 2009 and during his acceptance speech he mentioned his high school coach ‘Pop’ and the entire situation that made him into the man he is today.
And then there’s Leroy Smith. Now you guys think that’s a myth. Leroy Smith was a guy when I got cut he made the team – on the Varsity team – and he’s here tonight. He’s still the same 6’7″ guy – he’s not any bigger – probably his game is about the same. But he started the whole process with me, because when he made the team and I didn’t, I wanted to prove not just to Leroy Smith, not just to myself, but to the coach that picked Leroy over me, I wanted to make sure you understood – you made a mistake dude.
It’s crazy to think that MJ held a grudge for so long.
Ultimately, he proved everyone wrong, especially his high school coach. From being the kid that didn’t make the varsity team in high school to being the GOAT. Truly inspirational.