Why Michael Jordan's Sons Never Made It To The NBA

Maybe the apple really does fall far from the tree. 

Retired professional basketball player Michael Jordan is widely known for being the greatest basketball player of all time, aka the GOAT – whether he likes it or not. "When I hear it, I cringe a little bit," he explained to ESPN in 2009 about his uneasiness with the title. And when he went on to have two sons, many assumed that they would follow in their famous father's footsteps ... baby GOATs, if you will. Then again, we all know what they say about assuming. "My oldest thinks he should be the next Michael Jordan. Just by birthright. And to try to talk him out of it, my wife and I are driving ourselves nuts to say, 'Hey kid, just have a good time,'" he explained to CBS News in 2005. "There's only one Michael Jordan," he declared.

But why didn't his sons make it to the NBA just like their dear old dad? The answer may or may not surprise you.

Michael Jordan's sons didn't have the same physicality as their dad

As the rapper Lil Wayne once waxed poetic, "I never had height, but, boy, I got heart."

Michael Jordan's sons Jeffrey and Marcus Jordan didn't grow to be nearly as tall as their larger-than-life father.  As it turns out, Jeffrey stands at 6 feet, 1 inch and Marcus stands at 6 feet, 3 inches. In contrast, the senior Jordan towers above them at a staggering 6 feet 6 inches. Alas, their differences don't end there. Many believe that Jeffrey and Marcus' athletic abilities also wane in comparison to that of their father. Jeffrey averaged a meager 1.2 points per game while playing at the collegiate level. Meanwhile, Marcus did somewhat better, averaging 12.3 points per game. 

It should be noted, however, that Jeffrey is adamant that he did beat his super-talented father one time during a game of hoops. "Yes, I have beaten him, and I put it on the record," he told Today's former anchor Matt Lauer during an on-campus interview at the University of Illinois. "We don't play that much, though. I wouldn't want him to hold back anything because that wouldn't make any of us better."

Michael Jordan's sons faced endless pressure

Believe it or not, it can be tough to be the child of a famous athlete like Michael Jordan. Between all the glitz and glamour comes an immense burden. Even if the Chicago Bulls star never pressured his sons to become basketball players, society definitely did.

Michael even mentioned it in his 2009 Hall of Fame speech, where he told his kids, "You guys have a heavy burden. I wouldn't want to be you guys if I had to, because of all the expectations that you have to deal with." Jeffrey Jordan couldn't agree with his dad's statement more. "That could not be more true, honestly. I'm glad he said it," Jeffrey told the Journal Star. "I'm glad he recognizes it, too. It's something my brother and my sister [Jasmine] always knew and something my two younger sisters (twins Victoria and Ysabel with Michael's second wife, Yvette Prieto) will come to learn and appreciate." Marcus Jordan also talked about the burden of being the NBA star's son with TMZ Sports. "At an early age, there is some pressure, but it was never something I shied away from," he shared. 

Many hoped that either Marcus or Jeffrey would get their dad's athletic abilities, but as we know they fell a bit short – literally. Even though they gave their go at basketball, it wasn't what life had in store for the two young men. 

Michael Jordan just wants his sons to be happy

Fortunately, however, it doesn't appear there's any love lost between Michael Jordan and his non-NBA player sons. 

As it turns out, Michael is just like every other parent — he just wants his sons to be happy. "I want him to be his own person, you know?" the father declared during a Today interview while discussing his eldest, Jeffrey. "I want him to enjoy his life, whatever he chooses to be that, you know? If you play basketball, you're a doctor, you're a lawyer, whatever, I'm gonna support you with the love and every effort, every inch of my body." These days Jeffrey is making his father proud working as leader of the family brand's digital innovation department and also co-founded a consulting firm. Meanwhile, Marcus graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in hospitality management and runs an online shoe business. 

And just FYI: it would also seem that Michael is A-okay with his son dating former teammate Scottie Pippen's ex-wife, Larsa Pippen. During an appearance on the "Tamron Hall Show," Larsa even revealed that she got Michael's blessing to date her son. And there ya have it, folks!