Michael Jordan's Candid Take on NBA's Ultimate 'What If': Admits Potential Challenges

Exploring a pivotal moment in Bulls' basketball history.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Michael Jordan's Candid Take on NBA's Ultimate 'What If': Admits Potential Challenges
© Sean Gardner/GettyImages

In the realm of sports documentaries, "Iceman: A George Gervin Story" is capturing the spotlight, offering an in-depth look at the legendary George Gervin's journey through 14 seasons in the ABA and NBA. Gervin, often hailed as a precursor to Michael Jordan, is revered for his significant contribution to the game, a fact echoed by numerous NBA veterans.

They view Gervin as the one who metaphorically passed the torch to Jordan, the eventual face of the NBA. Michael Jordan, reflecting on his illustrious career, has recently expressed a newfound appreciation for Gervin, a stark contrast to his earlier reluctance to team up with the star.

Today, Jordan's admiration is palpable as he speaks of Gervin, not just as a former teammate but as an invaluable mentor, a role once reserved exclusively for himself.

Jordan's Retrospective Insight

This perspective shift is evident as Jordan recalls the 1985-86 season.

During this time, the Chicago Bulls, having drafted Jordan in 1984, brought George "The Iceman" Gervin into the fold. Gervin, then in his 12th professional year, would later venture to Europe, eventually retiring in 1990, just before Jordan led the Bulls to their inaugural championship.

Jordan, in retrospect, believes their collaboration could have fast-tracked the Bulls' championship success. "Imagine having George in his prime by my side," Jordan muses. "Together, we could've been a formidable force, each capable of scoring 40-50 points." Gervin's prime years as a small forward are often compared to those of Scottie Pippen.

Jordan acknowledges this similarity but notes a key difference in his initial reaction to their respective arrivals. When Gervin joined the Bulls in 1986, Jordan's response was notably lukewarm, marked by his infamous "no comment" statement, which ironically conveyed his discontent.

This dynamic between the young Jordan and the more experienced Gervin was a recurring theme in Chicago media at the time. Despite the perceived tensions, the Bulls were optimistic about Gervin's contributions, a belief reinforced by his remarkable 45-point game during his stint with the team.

As Jordan reflects on these memories and the possibility of what might have been, it's a poignant reminder of the ever-evolving nature of sports relationships and the legacy they leave behind.

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