Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 9:30 am  |  28 responses

A Tiny Chink in MJ’s Mythology Armor

According to Mike’s former teacher, a popular tale of his is pure BS: “Ruby Sutton has a distinct pet peeve when it comes to the subject of her former pupil, Michael Jordan: the oft-told story of how he was ‘cut’ from the Laney High varsity basketball team as a sophomore, spurring him to greatness. ‘Back then, (most) 10th-graders played JV; that’s just the way it was. Nobody ever ‘cut’ Michael Jordan,’ Sutton, who still teaches physical education, said this month, shaking her head as she retold the story for at least the 100th time. ‘Him not making the varsity that year was not his motivator – he was motivated well before that. He just always wanted to be the best.’”

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  • AB_40

    Leroy Smith is REAL hahahaha

    whoever get’s an interview with the REAL Leroy smith about Charlie Murphy playing him deserves an award haha

  • http://nicekicks.com MeloMan15


  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Leroy Smith is INSANE AB. Insane haha.
    If you don’t “make” a team that you try out for – then you are “cut”. It’s in the interpretation of words. Regardless of what the norm was, if you don’t make a team you try to make, you are cut.
    That’s all, that’s it.

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    This has been reiterated thousands upon thousands of times. 20 years later, it’s still a non-story.

  • mike

    i guess this means kobe’s better HAHAHA no f*cking way

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Wouldn’t the team’s coaches testimony hold more weight? And he’s said time and again that he was “cut”?

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Wow Leroy Smith is quoted in the article. Is the actual REALLY real? I thought it was just Charlie Murphy playing around..

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Most, not all. Meaning that some made it. Meaning that he was cut. If you try to be a walk-on at UNC and don’t make the team after the 1st scrimmage, you still got cut.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Headline doesn’t make sense.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The woman doesn’t deny that he was cut from varsity.. She just says that’s what happened to everybody. That is not the same thing.
    And how the thell does she know what truly motivated Jordan? Was she in his mind?

  • http://slamonline.com John D

    Was Leroy Smith a 10th grader too or was he older?

  • Czar Ruke

    Leroy is not quoted in this article.

  • J-King

    This really isn’t news. I read a book about MJ about a year ago…not sure of the title, but it basically explained the same thing. Doesn’t seem too controversial to me.

  • a_whiteman

    who cares lol

  • http://dfsjklf.com Jukai


  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Every time that I hear about Jordan getting “cut” from his high school team I point that out. How many sophomores play varsity?? And for once, I have to give an LMAO to Jukai. Props, my man.

  • KD


  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Meh. You can try for something, even if it is against the odds, and still get cut.
    I’m sure if they thought Jordan could help their varsity team (yes, as a sophomore) they’d let him play. There’s no rule in place that excludes him from playing with the big boys. So really, there is no point to this teacher speaking out.

  • Jake

    We had 6 sophomores on my Varsity team the first year at my new high school,and 3 of us were starters….and we made it to the state playoffs.It’s not that uncommon really.

  • luv2ball

    Back in Jordan’s day when you were young you had to wait your turn. Hell, Kareem didn’t play in UCLA’s Varsity as a freshmen because at the time Frshmen were not allowed. They all had to be stuffed in lockers and then report to the pool on the roof.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Jukai = golden child of slamonline.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Who. Really. Cares. MJ’s still the GOAT

  • Ramon D

    Im the Michael Jordan of motivating Michael Jordan

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You know what really motivated Michael Jordan? Isiah Thomas.
    What else, you ask?
    The New York Knicks.

  • http://myspace.com/mavus15 Mavus

    Was she the COACH? NO… If he tried out for Varsity (and someone had to let him tryout), and he didn’t make it, then he was CUT!!! And is the G.O.A.T… This is like asking a guy that worked for Motown how Jackson 5 got signed!! LMAO!!

  • chintao

    This story merely proves that Jordan has been a complete pr!ck since at least sophomore year of high school.

  • Tim

    What about that guy in the old tapes (Mike’s friend) that made it cuz he was tall? Or was he older….(circa, come fly with me, best jordan tape ever)

  • Rob

    On Wikipedia says that at the time, Leroy and MJ were both 9th graders, trying to get on a team of 10th graders. Competing for the lone spot for a 9th grader on the team, Leroy got the edge because of his height. He was 6’7 at the time, while MJ was 5’11. So here we go…
    See the Article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_Smith