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#pounditMonday, August 8, 2022

Michael Jordan had fun with Mark Williams on NBA Draft night

Michael Jordan in a suit

Dec 21, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveils the new Charlotte Hornets logo at halftime during the game against the Utah Jazz at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan is one of the most famous North Carolina Tar Heels to ever play basketball, and he made sure to needle former Duke center Mark Williams after the Charlotte Hornets drafted Williams with the 15th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

After he was selected on Thursday night, the Hornets called Williams to welcome him to the organization. Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak (also a UNC alum) was the first to congratulate Williams, telling the 20-year-old that there’d be plenty of work to do before the NBA Summer League begins.

Kupchak then handed the phone to Jordan, the team’s owner, who told Williams that he hoped that the rookie would get in the gym right away to work on his game. Before ending the call, though, Jordan managed to sneak in a subtle comment about Williams’ former school.

“Even though you’re a Dukie, I take pride in that we did draft you,” Jordan said.

Williams responded by saying that they had to “put the beef aside.”

The Duke-North Carolina rivalry will have to be set aside for now as the 7-foot-1 Williams could be a big contributor for Charlotte next season. With Montrezl Harrel facing felony drug trafficking charges for a May incident, Williams could wind up being the backup center behind Mason Plumlee.

In 39 games last season at Duke, Williams averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game while being named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. At North Carolina, Jordan averaged 17.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in three seasons, and won a national title in 1982.


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