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Michael's success on the varsity basketball team attracted coaches from the University of North Carolina who were eager to sign the star shooter when he graduated. Nike had been approached by a man named Sonny Vaccaro about making shoes for basketball teams and paying coaches to have their players wear Nikes.
The Klan bought uniforms for ball teams and Bibles for all the schools.White supremacy ruled the South and black athletes were told they were inferior.As a kid in the late seventies, Michael played Little League baseball before he ever hit basketball courts. When Michael watched the ABC miniseries Roots in 1977, which depicted the inhumanity of the African American experience, he understood for the first time what his ancestors had endured.His eyes were now open to the painful racism his own family had lived through in the cauldron of racial hatred in the South.When Michael watched the ABC miniseries Roots in 1977, which depicted the inhumanity of the African American experience, he understood for the first time what his ancestors had endured.The marriage of Michael’s parents was fraught with violent battles with James allegedly delivering knockout punches at times.
The family was never without ‘a lurking element of fear', writes Lazenby, a basketball journalist who spent almost 30 years covering Jordan's time in college and then the NBA and beyond.
He's got game: Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan was the undisputed king of the court.
By 1999, with his endorsements and investments, his wealth was estimated at as much as $500 million and he was described as the first billion dollar athlete ‘It was my father’s early treatment of him and Daddy’s declaration of his worthlessness that became the driving force that motivated him’, Michael’s sister Deloris, nicknamed Sis, recalls.
But he was haunted by demons that stalked him most of his life.
Now 50, the basketball genius never stopped seeking the approval of a dismissive father, the same father who was accused of sexually assaulting his sister and later was violently murdered.
Attempting to alleviate the boy’s anxiety, his mother told him to put salt in his shoes and pray for a growth spurt.