Stephon Gilmore is jumping to his idol's company, Jordan Brand

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By WEEI 93.7

Stephon Gilmore is like the rest of us, limited in what he can do these days.

The Patriots cornerback has set up a workout room in his garage while occasionally visiting an area track to get some running in. Gilmore did, however, find time to make a change in his life.

The NFL Defensive Player of the Year announced Wednesday that he is joining up with Jordan Brand, a company that already is linked with the Celtics' Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker.

Why is the move such a big deal to Gilmore? He explained in a question and answer on the company's Web site:

Super Bowl champion, multiple Pro Bowls, the first-ever New England Patriot to ever win defensive player of the year… you’re at the top of your game. Then, you get the call about joining the Jordan Brand. What went through your mind when that happened?
Oh man, I was so excited. I grew up wanting all the Jordans as a kid. I looked up to Michael Jordan, and my dad had all his jerseys. It took two years, but to have this opportunity to join the Jordan Brand? I’m excited. It’s a brotherhood. It’s MJ, the best to ever play the game. How he handled himself on and off the court has always stood out to me.
Do you have a first memory of MJ?
I just know that I was obsessed with him. I have pictures of my dad and I dressed up in Jordan gear, our whole outfits. I was always a big fan. I couldn’t afford every Air Jordan growing up, but my dad made sure that I had certain ones. I had the Concords and the original Is. Those are probably my favorites. I played basketball, and that was my first true love.
What are some of the skills you learned in basketball that helped you develop as a football player? 
I played point guard, so I had some handles and played great defense. I could always stay in front of whoever my competitor was. I think that if I didn’t play football, I could have been a great defensive player and shut down whoever is on the court — playing hard, going out and fighting to get the job done. I don’t take it easy on anybody. You run more in basketball than you do in football, so stamina, agility and staying in front of individual players are all things I’ve taken to the field.
There’s a different swagger and confidence that comes with being a Jordan Brand athlete. How would you describe that?
Everyone on the roster has their own unique personality. To be signed with Jordan Brand, I feel like you need to have that certain swagger. You have to know that you’re great on the field. You have to put the work in on and off the field.