Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/24/15

Did Adidas turn down Michael Jordan because he wasn't tall enough? Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

By Zack Cox

If you were like most Americans this past weekend, you more than likely had to deal with the inevitable Monday-morning quarterbacking that follows a busted bracket.

Why didn’t you see UAB over Iowa State coming? … So much for that deep Virginia run. … Villanova in the Final Four? Man, that was dumb.

And so on, and so on.

Well, according to a Wall Street Journal article published Monday, that’s pretty much how Adidas has felt for the past 30 years. The shoe giant reportedly turned down the one and only Michael Jordan for an endorsement contract before Jordan’s rookie season.

Why? The 6-foot-6 future Hall of Famer wasn’t quite tall enough for the German company’s liking.

From the Journal’s Ellen Emmerentze Jervell and Sara Germano:

“In 1984, Adidas made a misstep that presaged others. A University of North Carolina basketball star named Michael Jordan wanted a sponsorship deal with Adidas when he went professional, say people familiar with the matter.

“Adidas distributors wanted to sign Mr. Jordan, says someone who was an Adidas distributor then. But executives in Germany decided shoppers would favor taller players and wanted to sponsor centers, the person says, adding: ‘We kept saying, ‘no — no one can relate to those guys. Who can associate with a 7-foot-tall guy?’ ‘

“Adidas signed centers of the era, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—it still sells sneakers named for him. Mr. Jordan in 1984 signed with Nike, which built his name into a blockbuster basketball business. Mr. Jordan and Adidas decline to comment.”

Yeah, that might not have been the best call.

Jordan, of course, went on to become one of the most successful - and profitable - athletes of all time, and seeing as how the quoted article was entitled “How Adidas Aims to Get Its Cool Back,” the three-stripe brand has seen better days.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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