Toronto Raptors’ coach Fabulous Flournoy MBE recently joined UCFB’s Sharona Friedman, James McKeown and Diana Voynova for an exclusive webinar chat to discuss the NBA, Michael Jordan and his own glittering basketball career in the British Basketball League (BBL)…

A whole new generation of sports fans have discovered the genius of NBA legend Michael Jordan following Netflix’s ten-part docuseries The Last Dance.

The series focuses on Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls, depicting his pivotal role in the team’s success, who had previously won five championship titles in a row. Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time, and holds a long list of sporting achievements including ten scoring titles, highest career point per game average and nine first team honours.

The extent of Jordan’s success may be news to some, but Fab was at the epicentre of a basketball revolution in the 90s as the rapidly expanding BBL was starting to take off as Jordan was dominating the game Stateside.


Fab said: “Basketball was going through a metamorphosis at the time... Michael Jordan changed a culture, created a culture, led a culture. He helped make basketball international.”

Part of Jordan’s brilliance was his ability to simultaneously appeal to all corners of the globe whilst still feeling localised and authentic. Growing up playing streetball in the Bronx, New York, Fab said this is where MJ culture really resonated.

He said: “If you couldn’t be like him on the court you wanted to look like him, walk like him, talk like him. You needed the shorts, the wristband, the knee brace, you even tied your shoes the same!”

For Fab, it is this ability to sell a personal brand that makes MJ so remarkable. In particular, the ‘Jumpman’ logo, now owned by Nike and worth over $5 billion, represents Jordan’s off-court success.

Fab said: “Jumpman is iconic; it represents a feel, a nostalgia that this is where we have come from, what we are connected to and what it takes to make it. His marketing has pulled together a single idea; from that you can attach your own purpose to it.”

Fab went on to credit Jordan’s work ethic and leadership skills, and left UCFB students with some invaluable advice: “Everyone has the ability to work hard, you just have to have the right mind set to push yourself to work as hard as you possibly can. At the end of the day, that’s all you can possibly do.”