Imagine you're a computer programmer, and it turns out Bill Gates is your boss ...
Or you're starting out as a financial planner, and Warren Buffett takes you under his wing ...
That essentially describes Gerald Henderson's good fortune as a Charlotte Bobcat. The guy who owns the team happens to be the best basketball player ever. More specifically, he was an NBA shooting guard, just like Henderson. So there's a download of information going on that Henderson considers a windfall.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan recently gave Henderson a video that Jordan helped edit. For lack of a better description, it was the good and bad of Henderson's first dozen games this season: Plays that succeeded, others that didn't.
Mostly, it was about how best to get to the foul line, something Jordan excelled at throughout a Hall of Fame career.
"It was so helpful," Henderson said following Friday's practice. "I watch tape all the time, but to get someone else's eyes on it, you get such a different outlook. Particularly when it's him."
Jordan has taken a great personal interest in Henderson's development. It started before the lockout when Jordan advised Henderson to focus on his ball handling, because without the ability to drive to the rim, Henderson was forfeiting what's best about his game.
Over time, they've developed a bond.
"He's a great kid with the right work ethic. He can be a really good basketball player, and if I can do what it takes to get him there, I will," Jordan told the Observer. "I told him to work at shooting 50 percent from the field - don't just take a lot of shots. And free throws are just what they sound like - free points. Someone with his abilities should be getting to the line all the time."
The video Jordan gave Henderson spliced Henderson's performances with what the best in the game do. The video staff found examples of how Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony create trips to the foul line in just the way Henderson should emulate.
"For a lot of guys, talking basketball is just blowing smoke," Jordan said. "It's not with him - he's determined to improve, and that's what I wanted to see."
Jordan recalls Henderson seeking him out in training camp. Jordan forwarded Henderson his schedule and then laid back, waiting to see how Henderson would react.
"He searched me out," Jordan said. "That told me how serious he was about improving."
It's a strange pair, these two: The penultimate North Carolina Tar Heel mentoring a Duke Blue Devil. But Jordan is Henderson's biggest advocate. When former coach Larry Brown suggested trading Henderson because he wasn't playing, Jordan always countered it was too early to give up on Henderson's potential.
Now it's paying off. Henderson is averaging 15.1 points and 4.7 rebounds. He's shooting 47 percent from the field. And after Jordan passed on that video, Henderson started attacking the basket to great effect.
Henderson took 31 free throws in the last three games. Compare that to the first 12 games, when Henderson totaled 16 free-throw attempts.
That's about Jordan and his gravitas.
"He's the best player of all time - everybody knows that," Henderson said.
"He's got a basketball mind - he's always thinking the game. It helps me more than it would a lot of guys because we play the same position. He knows the angles and everything you need to know to be successful at that position. The shooting, the driving, the defense - he's used to guarding guys who look just like us."
How often do they talk?
"Whenever he's around. We have a very good relationship - he's one of my biggest supporters," Henderson said. "Obviously growing up, he was my favorite player."
Another game in common
"It's easy to (approach him) because basketball is all he wants to talk about - that and golf. That's why he is who he is: He's obsessed with the game. Talking to him is talking basketball. I'm like that, too, so it's a great thing."
Henderson is Jordan's pupil when it comes to basketball, but Henderson could probably school Jordan in golf. Henderson was a virtual scratch golfer in his teens.
Henderson hasn't played much lately, but Jordan keeps asking about getting out for a round, and Henderson plans to oblige. It's that Tar Heel-versus-Blue Devil tension, after all.
"My first couple of years (in the NBA), I put the sticks down because I was really working on my basketball," Henderson said.
"I don't think he thinks I'm ducking him. This summer we'll definitely play. I'm tired of hearing about it."