What's buzzing:

The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Michael Jordan could have been a Dukie? Check Coach K’s letter to a young MJ

The Dagger

Here's a story guaranteed to send chills down the spines of both pro- and anti-Duke fans, though for markedly different reasons. Duke apparently tried, obviously without success, to recruit Michael Jordan out of high school. That there, via ESPN's Darren Rovell, is a letter from Coach Mike Krzyzewski to "Mike Jordan," and it's a fine relic of college basketball history.

Let's deconstruct this: Coach K says he's "sorry to hear" that Jordan no longer has "an interest in learning more about Duke University." That means, of course, that it was Jordan turning down Duke, not the other way around. And, as we all know, Jordan does indeed tend to make an immediate impact wherever he goes. (Birmingham Barons notwithstanding.)

Now, bear in mind, we can't really blame Jordan for spurning the Blue Devils; while Duke had just come off three straight NCAA tournament appearances, Krzyzewski was just starting his first year as a head coach. It would be four seasons before Duke again reached the NCAA tournament and eleven years before he won his first national championship.

[Also: Kansas suffers one of the season’s most stunning upsets]

Jordan had always had an eye for North Carolina State, but it was North Carolina and Dean Smith, of course, who won the battle for his services. (See Jordan's original letter of intent and a letter from Smith right here.) The Tar Heels proved more attractive to Jordan than Duke, N.C. State, Maryland and South Carolina.

Side note: Krzyzewski would eventually get the opportunity to coach Jordan as part of the 1992 Dream Team coaching staff. As Jack McCallum's book "Dream Team" notes, Jordan, then unquestionably the greatest player on earth, approached Krzyzewski the very first day of practice and said, "Coach K, you got time? There's some stuff I want to work on."

"Michael didn't have to do that," Krzyzewski would later recall. "It was his way of saying, 'You're important and none of that other [Duke-UNC, pro-college] garbage means anything. We're all on the same team."

For a few weeks, at least.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

College basketball video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
National Signing Day: Conference breakdown
Signing of No. 1 prospect makes Ole Miss relevant again
With Pau Gasol injured, will Dwight Howard step up?
USA's World Cup qualification off to a rocky start

View Comments (329)
  • Japan into final after England injury time own goal

    Japan into final after England injury time own goal

    By Simon Evans EDMONTON (Reuters) - An injury time own goal from England defender Laura Bassett put Japan into the World Cup final with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday, setting up a title rematch with the United States. The U.S., who lost the 2011 … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 40 seconds ago
  • Hernandez, Anderson lead Dodgers past Diamondbacks, 4-3

    Hernandez, Anderson lead Dodgers past Diamondbacks, 4-3

    Kike Hernandez had three hits, including a triple and a double, and Brett Anderson pitched seven strong innings for his third straight victory as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Wednesday night. The NL West-leading … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Rookie Wisler, Braves end drought against Nationals, 4-1

    Rookie Wisler, Braves end drought against Nationals, 4-1

    Rookie Matt Wisler wasn't too worried about walking so many hitters in his third major league start. Wisler allowed one hit in 5 1-3 scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals 4-1 on Wednesday night to end a streak of nine straight … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Pyeongchang picks 'Nanta' producer for 2018 ceremonies

    Organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics said on Thursday they have named Song Seung-whan, the producer of South Korean hit theatre show 'Nanta', as the executive creative director for the Pyeongchang Games' opening and closing ceremonies. … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Olympics-Pyeongchang picks 'Nanta' producer for 2018 ceremonies

    Organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics said on Thursday they have named Song Seung-whan, the producer of South Korean hit theatre show 'Nanta', as the executive creative director for the Pyeongchang Games' opening and closing ceremonies. … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago