Dumars share basketball, real bond on Father's Day
DETROIT – To this day, most people think Jordan Dumars was named after Michael Jordan.
After all, he was born in the Jordan Era. Plus, his dad, Joe, a former Detroit Pistons' guard, was considered the best defender to ever go up against Jordan.
That compliment, by the way, came from MJ himself.
Nonetheless, the legend is false. Jordan Dumars wasn't named after arguably the best NBA player ever.
"We named Jordan simply because we liked the name," Dumars said. "We were going to go with Jordan whether it was a girl or a boy."
Joe and his wife, Debbie, have two kids. They had Jordan first in 1991 and then their daughter, Aren.
At the time of Jordan's birth, Dumars was on top of the NBA world. His "Bad Boy" Pistons had just won back-to-back championships. Life was great, indeed.
But it got even better with the arrival of Jordan in the middle of the 1991 season.
Dumars, a smart and low key guy, had no grand plans for his first son. He was simply happy to have him. "First thoughts were that I wanted to be the same father to him that my father was to me," Dumars said.
Dumars was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. His dad, Joe (Big Joe), built a hoop, made of an old bicycle wheel and half of a wooden door, in the Dumars' backyard where young Joe spent hour practicing his jump shot.
Big Joe had six sons, including Joe. Sports, mostly football, was a big part of the Dumars family. As for Jordan, there was grand scheme for his future to have to be in sports. "My dreams were for him to grow into a young man that my parents would be proud of," Joe said.
The basketball thing was not a plan, it was just natural. Joe didn't want Jordan to follow him on the court unless it was something he really wanted.
But it only made sense. Jordan got to watch his dad put in work, scoring points, defending and winning. It would have been hard not to want to copy that.
Jordan, a big time three-point shooter, had a stellar high school career at Detroit Country Day and played at Michigan until injuries derailed his college career. This past season, Dumars, now 24, trained with NBDL team, the Erie Bayhawks, for three months. Currently, he's in LA training and finishing up his rehab on his injured knee from college.
"At different times, he's been proud of me," Jordan said about Joe. "When we had a good run playing high school basketball at Country Day. I think he was proud of that.
"He was proud of how I got through college, battling injuries, graduating from U of M."
Jordan knows his pops. Jordan's degree touched Joe, 52. He added, "my proudest moment was watching him graduate from the University of Michigan."
The admiration for each other is impressive. But this isn't just a sports friendship, a guy thing. Joe and Jordan have a real relationship that would be the same if Joe was a garbage man, not an Hall of Fame basketball player.
If you spend any time around the two, it's overtly evident. They share real love and a wonderful friendship not all fathers and sons have.
"We text all day, laughing and talking about stuff going on in the world," Jordan said. "Obviously, a lot of our relationship revolves around sports so our conversations are mostly about what's going on in the sporting world and myself playing ball."
Dumars, who also won a title as the Pistons' president and GM, agrees. "We have a great relationship," he said. "And it really is based on being honest and straight forward with each other.
"We laugh a lot and have a tremendous love for each other."
Jordan is thankful that he had a regular upbringing despite his father's success and fame. "It felt normal because he is just a normal guy," Jordan said about his dad. "I would imagine if he was a guy known in the league as a prima donna, it would have been different. But his low-key lifestyle and personality made it normal as it could have been."
Better yet, their father/son relationship is as healthy and fun-loving as one could have. That's special, especially on Father's Day.
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