Duke Basketball: Rasheed Sulaimon Spurns Jordan, UNC at Jordan Brand Classic

Curtis ClontzCorrespondent IIApril 16, 2012

Michael Jordan IS basketball. He is often regarded as the best player to ever don a jersey.

Therefore, it is extremely hard to fathom that a young athlete with the ambition of one day playing in the NBA would spurn such a person, but in one recent video, that is exactly what he has done.

In 1992, one of Jordan's most famous commercials came at the hands of Gatorade and the "Be Like Mike" campaign. It all started with a one-minute clip showing MJ highlights with children and amateurs trying to be like Mike themselves. It was an extremely successful campaign and a song that is still heard today.

At the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic, players were asked to make a sing-along type of video chiming this famous song. Many of the players at the Classic were asked to sing, but one in particular did not.

Rasheed Sulaimon refused to do any of the sort and stayed true to his newly supplanted Duke roots. In turn, he said, "Mike, you're still my man, but the Duke/UNC rivalry is just too big."

The video itself can be found, compliments of ESPN, at this link.

First impressions are extremely important. Sulaimon certainly is living up to any and all hype that he is getting throughout the Duke community. Understanding the situation and the playfulness of the video, he could have easily sang the song, but he refused—it could have been used against his new family.

He went on to say that he wants to be like Austin Rivers, Jason Williams and Coach K.

Sulaimon has never donned a Duke uniform. He has never been announced in front of a sell-out crowd at Cameron and has never been face-to-face with the Duke-UNC rivalry, but he already gets it.

In what is arguably the biggest rivalry in all of sports, it is nice to see someone as young as Sulaimon able to step up to the plate and understand where he fits in.

Had he sung the song, it may not have been a big deal at all. It may have been shown on ESPN and never questioned, but he, without question, did the right thing.

Sulaimon stepped up and is already showing an allegiance to what UNC fans see as the evil empire.  He may not be Rivers in terms of talent, he may not be a four-year starter, he may not break records and he may not be an All-ACC player next season—but there is no question that Sulaimon gets it.

He is already fitting into the Duke mold, and this video should excite anyone who has ever chanted, "Let's Go Duke!"