KEY POINTS

  • Dave Magle remembers stealing the ball once from Michael Jordan during a college game
  • Magley feels Wilt Chamberlain makes a great case to be recognized as the greatest basketball player
  • Magley says Jordan already showed some potential during his freshman year

There are only a few people who got the chance to play with NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Most will recall him during his stint in the pro ranks although there are stories of his promise in basketball that started in college when he was still playing for North Carolina.

One person who got that chance to play against “His Airness” is David John Magley.

The 62-year-old is a former Kansas Jayhawk and once played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (1982). He is currently the president of The Basketball League.

In an exclusive interview with Magley on Sports For All PH hosted by Vincent Juico and Brian Yalung, the former Cavs player recalled his time in college and shared some interesting experiences he had with Jordan and another NBA great in James Worthy.

“He (Jordan) was good, but James Worthy was really, really good. Sam Perkins was very good. Michael obviously went on to become the greatest player to play the game, but he was a freshman in college and I was a senior in college. So to me, he was just a freshman, but I had a lot of respect for him,” Magley responded when asked about anything he could remember during his college basketball playing days against Jordan.

The North Carolina bench erupts with joy with 15 seconds to go as a jump shot by Carolina's Michael Jordan gives the Tar Heels a 63-62 victory over Georgetown in the NCAA Championship game. The North Carolina bench erupts with joy with 15 seconds to go as a jump shot by Carolina's Michael Jordan gives the Tar Heels a 63-62 victory over Georgetown in the NCAA Championship game. Photo: Getty Images | Bettmann Archive

He recalled scoring 24 points in one game, while Jordan managed only 12.

However, Magley did recall pulling one steal over Jordan in a game and how high the former Chicago Bull jumped to get off a jump shot.

“I remember stealing the ball from him once. I remember him jumping really high on his jump shot,” he remembered.

Although Jordan went on to become one of the greatest players to play the game, Magley still hailed James Worthy as the main man for North Carolina at that time.

“Worthy was so damn good. You had to be aware of him. James worthy was 6-foot-9, his hands were incredibly big. He and Michael had really big hands. You could just throw the ball and he would catch it. But the team was built around James,” Magley stated.

Moreover, Magley initially had reservations on whether Jordan could be the next David Thompson, a former North Carolina State star player.

“I remember them saying that Jordan was the next David Thompson. I said man, 'These people didn’t know what they were talking about.' Boy, they were right! He is absolutely the greatest player [who] ever played during cable television time,” he shared.

James Worthy After a Winning Basketball Game James Worthy After a Winning Basketball Game Photo: Getty Images | Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis

However, he opted to hold back as far as hailing Jordan as the greatest player ever.

Magley pointed at Wilt Chamberlain as a player that most never really appreciated but stressed that certain factors need to be considered. That included the number of teams and how players were treated during their heydays.

“I don’t know if I could say he is the best player ever. If we saw all of Wilt Chamberlain’s highlights, we might re-think that. Wilt has almost a hundred records in the NBA. People don’t realize how dominant he was. You can argue both sides,” he argued.