CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Michael Jordan has checked a lot of accolades off the list throughout his career, and now he gets to check off another - hosting the NBA All-Star game as a franchise owner.
“Growing up as a kid here in North Carolina, the first thing is, play basketball. Then things evolved from there. To be able to have an opportunity to come back and represent this state in an All-Star situation from a different seat, it’s truly amazing,” Jordan said.
This won’t be Jordan’s first time participating in an NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte - the last time was in 1991 as a player.
“I do remember the game — had a decent game, didn’t win the MVP, but it was a fun game,” Jordan said.
All jokes aside, he does hope to bring some of that same flare and atmosphere he experienced her in '91.
“We look forward to bringing that type of energy back. So far, the energy’s been unbelievable," Jordan said. "I think it’s going to be a fun week. The fans are going to see what this city’s all about.”
He's also very proud to have two of his own players competing this weekend - Kemba Walker an All-Star starter and 3-point contest participant, as well as Miles Bridges who will be in the dunk contest.
“It gives me great pleasure because I always believed this kid was an All-Star. He’s proven that three years in a row and now he’s a starter. He represents this city and this team very well,” Jordan said of All-Star point guard Kemba Walker. "This weekend is about Kemba Walker and Miles Bridges. But once it is over, we still have to look at ourselves about making the city proud about the game of basketball and how we play it on an everyday basis.”
And while this weekend's focus is basketball, for Jordan it's also about making sure people realize just how special Charlotte is.
"I think it's important for everybody that comes to visit this city during this all-star game understand this is a very unique and fun small town city," Jordan said. "You can do a lot of things and you meet great people so that to me is the biggest takeaway of the weekend is that for people who come and understand what this city is all about and the people that live here and that they'd love to come back even when there's not an All-Star Game, and I think we have a great sense of pride about showcasing that to the visitors."
Jordan will also celebrate his 56th birthday on Sunday.