The selection of David Thompson came as a surprise for many who believed Jordan would select his mentors, Dean Smith or Phil Jackson, to present him at what very well may be, the greatest overall achievement of his storied career. Michael decided on Thompson because of the influence that "Skywalker" had on the development of his game. Jordan declared that without Thompson he "would have never become the player that I did." Jordan and Thompson met at the final four in 1984 and have kept in touch ever since. .
"I got a call from the Hall of Fame and they asked me if I was willing to be a presenter for someone. I said, 'Yeah.' I didn't know who it was. ... They said Michael Jordan. I was like, 'Wow.' He told them that he was a big fan of mine and I was the one that really inspired him. Being that there was so many North Carolina people he could've chosen, I was honored. I was kind of surprised, and also was really flattered that he chose me over Coach [Dean] Smith. You know how important he is?" Said Thompson
Even the greatest players of all-time, at some point, look to someone else for inspiration and motivation. For Michael Jordan, that someone else was David Thompson. Come Friday night, Thompson will be honoring Michael Jordan, as he reaches his final and most significant award, but in a roundabout way , the honor is all Thompson's.