“When you say air Jordan I’m number 2, he’s 1.”
That’s what Michael Jordan had to say about his shorter but older brother, Larry, during a 1987 TV feature on the 5’8″ Air Jordan, who was just drafted in the 3rd round to the Chicago team in the new International Basketball Association, a league for ballers under 6’4″.
“This will be good for him,” Said Michael to the Chicago Tribune. ”He has always been a good player, but he just didn’t grow enough.”
For most of Larry and Michael’s childhoods, the 11-month older Larry was the better player. Michael even reportedly wore 23 because he said he wanted to be half as good as his brother, who wore 45, the number Michael would shortly wear after his first NBA comeback. Jordan grew five inches between his sophomore and junior year in high school and you pretty much know the rest of the story of how Michael became the GOAT. Larry didn’t grow and unless you had the point-guard talents of a Muggsy Bogues or Spud Webb, the NBA didn’t have any room for 5’8″ basketball players.
Living in the shadow of another family member is always a tough thing to deal with but Larry did realize some perks came with being the brother of the best basketball player in the world.
”I`m always known as Michael Jordan`s brother instead of Larry Jordan. But there are advantages, too. I was given a speeding ticket in North Carolina recently. I drive a red 1985 Corvette. I would`ve lost my license except the district attorney was a big North Carolina and Michael Jordan fan.
If you are wondering if the brothers got their hops from their Dad, they didn’t. They got it from their momma. Go to the 2:39 mark of this 1988 ABC Mother’s Day special called “Superstars And Their Moms” to watch Deloris Jordan teach Mike how to defy gravity.
(1992) PLAY LIKE A PRO: HOSTED BY LARRY JORDAN
From Adam Ryan (host of the In All Airness Podcast): Larry Jordan hosts this instructional video. Interestingly, Larry and his younger brother, Michael, are never shown in the same shot on screen. This was filmed in 1992 and released (on VHS, here in Australia) in 1993.