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All-Star game marks latest milestone for Michael Jordan

by | Feature, Sports

Feb. 13, 19 | 9:40 am

Buzz Peterson knew Michael Jordan as well as anyone when they were in college.

Roommates and teammates at North Carolina, they spent countless days competing on the basketball court in practice and endless hours talking hoops. Their nights often included shooting pool and tossing cards in their Granville Towers South dorm room. There often were arcade games — before the home video game craze hit — at the Pump House on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.

But Peterson never saw this coming: His roommate becoming an NBA owner and hosting the league’s All-Star game in his home state of North Carolina.

“You know, staring across the dorm room at him back then, no, I never would have thought this would happen,” Peterson told The Associated Press.

Jordan didn’t either.

“Frankly, no,” Jordan said Tuesday in a news conference previewing the All-Star game. “Growing back up as a kid here in North Carolina, the first thing is play basketball. Then things just evolved from there.”

While maybe unexpected, Peterson said he isn’t shocked by what Jordan has achieved.

“Michael has always been very sharp, very smart,” said Peterson, now an assistant general manager for Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets. “He’s a very good listener. He gathers information and opinions and then makes decisions. And once he makes the decision to go after something, he goes all out. He is absolutely driven to be successful in whatever he chooses.”

The All-Star game will be played on Jordan’s 56th birthday, February 17.

“It’s a constant reminder that I am getting old ,” Jordan joked. “The All-Star game is always around my birthday and I wish it could be postponed a week.”

The only thing seemingly that has eluded Jordan is ultimate success as an executive and team owner.

His Hornets have yet to win a playoff series since he took over as majority owner nine years ago and they remain mired in NBA mediocrity while struggling to compete in a small market.

But Jordan wants to change any negative perceptions of the Hornets or of Charlotte. It’s one reason he aggressively pursued the All-Star game, hoping the showcase will help attract marquee players in the future.

Photo from Associated Press

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