Michael Jordan is the GOAT, although some with recency bias may not agree, and a well-known person in the basketball world realized his potential before many others.
Former Indiana Hoosiers head coach Bobby Knight knew MJ was a special player decades ago, and an old interview that has since gone viral proves that.
Knight was never really a person known for heaping praise on players, especially ones on opposing teams, but that’s exactly what he did in speaking about Jordan, in an interview from the ’80s that aired on ESPN’s “The Last Dance.”
“Just an absolutely great kid,” Knight said of Jordan. “If I was going to pick the three or four best athletes I’ve ever seen play basketball, he’d be one of them. I think he’s the best athlete I’ve ever seen play basketball, bar none. If I were going to pick people with the best ability I’d ever seen play the game, he’d be one. If I wanted to pick the best competitors I’d ever seen play, he’d be one of them. So in the categories of competitiveness and ability, skill and athletic ability, he’s the best athlete. … That, to me, makes him the best basketball player I’ve ever seen play.”
Say what you want about Knight, but he knew how to scout talent. He was spot-on about MJ’s greatness before many others even believed in him at all.