It might be the unlikeliest pairing on the planet, The greatest basketball player ever — a man not given to sharing many of the secrets of his success — mentoring the young quarterback who will play in his first Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

Maybe it’s because Cam Newton isn’t a basketball player or perhaps it’s simply because the two men live in the same state and own property in the same high-rise, but Michael Jordan has stepped up with some important advice for the 26-year-old Carolina Panthers quarterback.

“Cam and Mike have formed this relationship which is really special,” Marshall Faulk said on the NFL Network, sharing what Fox analyst Troy Aikman had told him. “Mike told Troy Aikman that Cam has been asking Michael about success, and how to get to the next level. Cam also asked Jordan ‘tell me your mind-set when you have to deal with beating the bully.”

Beating the bully? Now that’s an interesting aspect of the relationship and helps explain why the Charlotte Hornets owner has been taking in the Panthers’ playoff games.

“Mike told Cam about the transformation in himself before the Chicago Bulls had to get over Detroit Pistons,” Faulk said of the Bad Boy Pistons.

Faulk went on to say that Newton saw similarities in how the Seattle Seahawks had handled the Panthers. “That information that Mike gave him, I think he delivered it to the rest of the team,” Faulk said.

Jordan seemed to be enjoying himself Sunday as he watched from a box.

“This has been a process,” Newton said afterward. “It wasn’t going to be instant grits. It was going to be like long, slow-cooked collard greens. I think those collard greens are brewing right now. You can smell them from a mile away.”

Wonder if he got that from Jordan.

Watch Faulk’s full discussion here.