Jordan's son gets taste of MSG in Classic

Originally Published: April 21, 2007
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- After watching his father have some memorable performances at Madison Square Garden, Michael Jordan's son now understands what playing there is all about.

Jeffrey Jordan scored nine points and his team rallied in the final minutes before coming up short in a 127-119 loss to the Jordan Yellow team in the Jordan Brand All-American Classic Saturday night.

"Definitely, definitely," the younger Jordan said about finally comprehending what it really meant to play on the same arena where his dad once did. "Everybody felt the atmosphere just because we saw who was on the sideline. Everybody felt the great atmosphere of The Garden."

Even Spike Lee got into it with the younger Jordan at times. "He was talking to me but it was all positive. Shoot the ball and all that stuff."

Surely not as highly recruited as many of his peers in the game, many believe that Jordan got a chance to play in the game because of his last name.

"I thought he played well and represented himself well," said Steve Smith, the Oak Hill Academy coach who led the Royal team. "It's hard to be Michael Jordan's son. A lot of people said, hey he shouldn't be in the game. I thought he competed and played well and showed what he could do. Like I said, it's tough being the son of Michael Jordan. You can never live up to that. I don't care how good you are. He's a really nice kid. I enjoyed being around him."

"I think Jeffrey is real good. I've been hearing the same thing," said Villanova-bound point guard Corey Fisher, who had 12 points and 10 assists. "But to me he proved that he belongs being in the game. Everybody expects him to be the best thing in the class because his father is Michael Jordan. He works hard every day and he's going to be good in college."

Jordan's Royal team trailed throughout the entire game before taking 112-111 lead on Jerryd Blayless' dunk with 3:13 remaining. Derrick Rose's lay up gave the Yellow team a 115-114 lead with 2:45 left and Kyle Singler scored on a lay-up and hit a free throw as he was fouled on the play by Kosta Koufos to increase the lead to 118-114.

Donte Greene was named the Classic's MVP, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the first half. Greene will be attending Syracuse in the fall.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press