Michael Jordan plays guard for the, um, Carolina Panthers and he's 'pretty terrible at basketball'

ByDavid Newton ESPN logo
Thursday, October 21, 2021

What's it like being named Michael Jordan when you're in the same city as the legendary NBA player, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets?

Just ask the Carolina Panthers guard, who secured free pizza from Papa John's with his name when he was a freshman at Ohio State.

"I placed it online in the name of 'Michael Jordan,'" Jordan recalled.

"All of a sudden, it says it will be here in 20 minutes. So I called the place and said I placed an order for Michael Jordan. He started cussing me out. He said, 'It's Super Bowl Sunday. You can't be playing around with fake names like that.' Then I went in and showed him my ID, and I got free pizza for a week,'' he said.

Jordan stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall -- much like the Basketball Hall of Famer. However, the NFL's MJ weighs 316 pounds, 100 pounds more than the former NBA shooting guard.

Jordan never has met the more famous MJ and never has been mistaken for him walking around Charlotte. Nor was he even named after the NBA legend.

"I was named after my father,'' Jordan said on Thursday. "I'm actually pretty terrible at basketball. You can ask the guys in the locker room. They already know that. I've been terrible since I've been a kid. I've got to look at the ball when I dribble."

Jordan, a native of Plymouth Canton, Michigan, was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft. Carolina claimed him off waivers on Sept. 1, then he was waived again on Oct. 4 and signed to the Panthers' practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on Oct. 16 and wound up playing most of last week's game at left guard when he replaced Dennis Daley.

Jordan will start this week against the New York Giants.

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