Coach Carter: Jordan

Coach Carter: Jordan
Does winning on the court or field mean failing in the classroom?
"My 14-year-old son is so sure that he's going directly into the NBA that he's blowing off school," says Kathleen, who is very concerned. "He needs an education, but to him, all he needs is a basketball." Jordan's grades have been progressively slipping from As to Ds.

"I'm going to go right out of high school directly into the pros," says Jordan. "That's what I'll be doing the rest of my life and I feel I have enough intelligence to read my contract. When I can't play basketball, it's like I'm a drug addict and I can't get a hold of my drugs. Everyone tells me I should have a backup plan, but I just think it's not important because I'm very positive that I'll
make it to the NBA."

"If Jordan doesn't buckle down in school, he's going to end up flipping burgers," says Kathleen, who turns to Dr. Phil: "How far should I let Jordan go with his NBA dreams?""How do you know that you're going to make it in the NBA?" Dr. Phil asks Jordan, who's in the eighth grade.

"I'm not sure. I just believe that I'm going to make it to the NBA straight out of high school," says Jordan.

"Are you the best player on your team?" asks Samuel L. Jackson.

"No, sir."

"OK, so why do you think you're going to make it to the NBA?"

"Because the only thing I like to do is play basketball," says Jordan.

"OK, you like to do that. A lot of people like to act, but they can't," says Jackson."Even if you do play well enough to do that, what happens if you blow your knee out?" asks Jackson.

"Umm ... I'm thinking of going to college, that's if I blow my knee out," says Jordan.

Dr. Phil points out that Jordan had all Fs on his last report card, except for physical education. "You can't even get in to college!" he says.

Dr. Phil breaks down the statistics for Jordan: "If you're a high school senior and you're playing basketball, you're chance of making it to the NCAA is one in 35. If you're in the NCAA and you're a senior, your chance of even getting in the NBA is one in 75. And if you want to go from high school into the NBA, the chance of making it is one in 3,400 ... Do you really think this is going to happen or is this just an excuse not to study?"

"No, I really believe that this is going to happen," says Jordan."If you really were unusually skilled at this, wouldn't you be dominating your local sport?" asks Dr. Phil.

When Jordan is silent, Carter steps in: "There's less than 5,000 jobs in all professional sports, period. And Microsoft alone has over 10,000 millionaires in that company alone. You do the math," says Carter.

Jordan's mother still wants to know: "How far do I let him go with this dream of the NBA before he just completely crashes and burns and ruins any chance of college?" she asks.

"Not one minute, not one second further than the end of this sentence," says Dr. Phil. "If he values basketball, it is an extracurricular and it is a privilege that is earned by doing the schoolwork. And you're job as a parent is to be the traffic cop. I don't want him to turn around and look at you when he's 25 and working some unskilled job where he has no future, no way to take care of himself and say, 'Why didn't you make me study when I had the chance?' That's your job!"
Dr. Phil tells Jordan that he has a special message for him from an NBA pro.

Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors has a message for Jordan: "What up Dr. Phil, what up Jordan? It's great that you want to become a professional athlete and make it to the NBA like me. But get your priorities straight. Education is first. I chose to go back to school and get my college degree at the University of North Carolina. Why? Because it's not guaranteed that you'll become a pro basketball player. So I'm here today to tell you: It's OK to be great now, but have a plan B. Get your education."