Lawrence Taylor discusses friendship with Michael Jordan
Before he became a legend with the Giants, Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor put together a successful career at the University of North Carolina. Taylor was a team captain for the Tar Heels and racked up 16 sacks in 1980. He set numerous defensive records, was recognized as a consensus First-Team All-American, and was named ACC Player of the Year in his final season.
After being drafted second overall in the 1981 NFL Draft, Taylor returned to school to finish up that summer. It was there that he met Michael Jordan, an incoming freshman who was getting ready to play his first year for legendary basketball coach Dean Smith, and the relationship between the two future sports icons began to blossom.
"My senior year when I went to the Giants, I came back to school to finish up that summer," Taylor told Steve Serby of the New York Post. "And he was there at Carolina getting ready for the season, but we played a lot of basketball, we hung out a lot. I consider him a good friend."
While no one, Taylor included, could have guessed what he would go on to do in the NBA, the former linebacker said it was clear before he played one game for UNC that Jordan was a special talent.
"I am not a critiquer of basketball. I played football," Taylor said. "The guy was phenomenal. And sometimes you think he's from another planet. The things he can do you don't see every day. Every hundred million people that are born, there may be one like him, OK?"
The best photos of Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who was named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team
Giants fans across the globe send message of hope during trying times
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way of life for people all over the world. The New York / New Jersey area has been hit especially hard, serving as an unofficial epicenter of the coronavirus as New York alone has more cases than any other country in the world.
From Mexico to France to Germany to the United Kingdom, Giants fans from all across the globe have banned together to show their support and send a message of hope during these trying times.
Check out just how far the reach of Giants Pride goes in the video below.
Eli Manning episode of Saturday Night Live to air on NBCSN
Beginning on Monday, May 25, NBC Sports Network will air sports-themed Saturday Night Live episodes all week, starting with a September 1991 episode hosted by Michael Jordan.
NBCSN will show four episodes of SNL hosted by NFL players Tuesday night, including the May 5, 2012 episode hosted by Giants quarterback Eli Manning, which will air at 9 PM. The other episodes airing Tuesday night feature Tom Brady (April 16, 2005) at 7 PM, Peyton Manning (March 24, 2007) at 8 PM and J.J. Watt (February 1, 2020) at 10 PM.
Other sports-themed episodes that will air on NBCSN feature hosts LeBron James, Charles Barkley, Derek Jeter, Dwayne Johnson, Andy Roddick and many more. The full list of episodes NBCSN will air can be found here.
"I think he's both charming and radiates a certain kind of intelligence and I don't know how to say this, but you sort of believe that he doesn't take himself that seriously," SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels said on a joint conference call with Manning leading up to the show. "I think he takes his work very seriously, but there's this sort of essential modesty to him and I think that plays well with what we do. If the host is spending a lot of time protecting an image, it's exhausting, particularly for us."
Manning's reply: "I'm blushing, Lorne. Thank you."
NBCSN will televise 20 SNL episodes in total next week dating back to the early 1990s that were hosted by some of the biggest names in sports. These athletes have combined to win 35 MVP awards, 29 Olympic gold medals, 10 Super Bowls, nine NBA titles and five World Series, in addition to numerous MMA and professional wrestling belts.