NBA Legend Michael Jordan Influenced Terry Rozier To Choose Hornets Over Knicks In Free Agency

Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards in the second half at Capital One Arena on April 09, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Rob Carr / Getty Images

The departure of Kemba Walker in the 2019 NBA free agency has broken the hearts of lots of Charlotte Hornets’ fans, especially those people who believe that the All-Star point guard could have helped them win their first NBA championship title. Luckily, the Hornets didn’t lose Walker as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return. In a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics, the Hornets managed to acquire Terry Rozier in exchange for Walker.

In a recent interview with Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report, Terry Rozier revealed that the Hornets were not really his first choice when he became an unrestricted free agent. The night before the 2019 NBA free agency officially started, Rozier admitted that he had envisioned himself playing for the New York Knicks in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, Rozier had second thoughts about accepting the contract offer from the Knicks after NBA legend and Hornets owner Michael Jordan intervened.

After his conversation with the Hornets’ front office, it didn’t take long before Terry Rozier made a decision. Instead of joining the Knicks, Rozier ended up signing a three-year, $58 million contract with the Hornets. Though he’s intrigued by the idea of playing for the Knicks, Rozier said that he would be a “fool” to pass on the opportunity to play for Michael Jordan’s team.

“I’d be a fool if I was to go anywhere else or turn down that,” Rozier said. “I look at it as just a team, organization believing in me. Knowing that I want to prove myself in this league and giving me that chance is bigger than anything and [their willingness] to pay me a right amount of money, it was just big and the guy that was behind all that was Michael Jordan. It’s still surreal to me.”

Choosing the Hornets over the Knicks is undeniably a no-brainer for Terry Rozier. Though the Hornets are not a big market team like the Knicks, they managed to give Rozier the top two things he was looking for in his next team – a decent contract and a starting role. As of now, Rozier is considered the player who will lead the Hornets in the post-Kemba Walker era.

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The 2019-20 NBA season is yet to start, but Terry Rozier admitted that he’s already feeling the pressure of the responsibility he’s carrying on his shoulders.

“I’d be lying if I told you there’s no pressure,” Rozier said. “But pressure’s part of the game.

However, Terry Rozier is confident that he can manage to live up to expectations from the contract he signed with the Hornets. Rozier may have spent the first four years in the NBA as a backup point guard, but during the NBA Playoffs 2018, he proved that he’s capable of becoming a starter and excel in crucial situations.