Andrew Wiggins And Five Other ‘Jordans’ Who Came Before Him
Five players who took ‘Be Like Mike’ to a whole new level
Teenage basketball phenom Andrew Wiggins, a/k/a the Canadian Jordan, is the subject of a feature today on SI.com. The Toronto native is the No. 1 high school hoops recruit and considered an early frontrunner to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
But Wiggins isn’t the first player to be saddled with the millstone of a Jordan-charged moniker. Here are five others from through the years.
As a beanpole-thin 11th grader at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, Tamir Goodman averaged 35.4 points per game, made an oral commitment to Maryland and soared to national prominence after a 1999 profile in Sports Illustrated. The Orthodox Jew wound up at Towson before heading to the Israeli league, where he played for four teams in five seasons amid a succession of injuries. He retired in 2009 at 27.
Southern Cal alum Harold Miner won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1993 and 1995 – and might have threepeated if not for a knee injury in ’94 — but played just four seasons with the Heat and Cavaliers before walking away in 1997 at 25.
The first player from Turkey to make the NBA, Hedo Türkoğlu went 16th in the 2000 draft. The versatile sharpshooter is still toiling 12 seasons later with the Orlando Magic.
A lottery pick in 2003, Mickaël Piétrus‘ nickname inspired an Air Jordan XIII one year later. The Frenchman is still in the league with Toronto after stints with the Celtics, Suns, Magic and Warriors.
He played just four games with the Suns in 2004, but it was enough for Yuta Tabuse to become the first Japanese-born player in NBA history. The diminutive point guard bounced around several D-League teams in subsequent years before settling in with Link Tochigi Brex of the Japanese league, where he’s still playing.
Follow Bryan Armen Graham on Twitter.