When Michael Jordan uttered those five words during halftime of a North Carolina/Duke game back in late February while delivering a speech to the UNC football team, he inadvertently created a motivational slogan that the basketball team would use for the remainder of their season. That season ended with UNC beating Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament title game on Monday night, and after the game was over, MJ reportedly sent this text to Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams:
But wait, why wasn’t MJ at the game? Outside of the fact that he’s probably the most recognizable UNC alum on the planet, he’s also attended plenty of other games in recent years and done his part to cheer on his former team. So why didn’t he carve out the time to take in the title game this season?
Williams was asked that very question during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday, and he revealed that everyone has been asking him about it. And then, he talked about another text that MJ sent him after the game. He didn’t say exactly what it said, but apparently, it confirmed Williams’ suspicion that MJ may have skipped the game on purpose because he didn’t want to to jinx them.
It seems MJ was superstitious after he showed up last year and UNC lost to Villanova. Here's what Williams told Dan Patrick:
"People asked me the last day and a half if he was going to come, and I said, 'He hasn’t called, but guys, knowing him, he’s going to say, I went last year and you lost.' And so that’s what I was thinking. Our assistant AD Clint Gwaltney, we were walking to the bus last night and I said, 'I want to bet you a dollar, I’ll give you about any odds you want, but I’ll bet you there’s a text message from Michael or a voicemail from Michael and he’s going to say something about coming last year.' And sure enough, I got on the bus and got my phone out of my backpack...I had quite a few messages and one of them was from Michael, so I collected some money last night."
MJ is known for being superstitious. But did he really think that he alone could have impacted the outcome of Monday’s game by going or not going? Whatever the case, he missed seeing UNC win their sixth title all-time in person.