“I didn’t give a damn about Michael Jordan,” recalls Sonny Vaccaro. “He did not play in my all-star game that I had for 20 years. I didn’t pick him; I picked somebody else who was damn good too.”
But lodged somewhere in the brain of Vaccaro, an executive at Nike hunting basketball’s next big thing, was the memory of 1982 and a moment for the sporting gods. Jordan, a 19-year-old freshman displaying preternatural calm, had made a 16ft jump shot with 15 seconds left to win the national college championship for North Carolina.