Michael Jordan: Legend of Legends
Michael Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame this week, amidst a new round of discussions as to whether he is the best to ever play the game of basketball. People will argue as to hwether players of today compare. Is Kobe as good? Is LeBron Better?
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A resounding no on both fronts. Were Wilt and Russell better? Another no…. both were big men in an era where there were virtually none, and as such, can’t be compared.
The bottom line is that Michael Jordan was unique unto himself. He transcended not only his profession, but sports in general. He was bigger than life; he wasn’t defined by the game he played. Rather, he defined the game he played. The man doesn’t belong in the basketball hall of fame… the hall isn’t worthy to hold his #23. (or even 45, for that matter.)
But rather that try to explain how and why these are facts, I’ll let MJ show you for himself. Here are just a few of the moments that ‘Air’ Jordan gave us…. some of the greatest moments in not only the history of basketball, but of sports itself.
Slam Dunk Contest
Before he was, well… Michael, he was a scoring, dunking phenom. This was the birth of one of the most recognizable logos in the history of advertizing.
The ‘Flu Game’
This is the one game I’ll tell my kids and grandkids about. The image of Scottie Pippen helping Jordan off the court is one of sports’ enduring images.
Another of those moments that was just… Michael. He went nuts against Portland in the finals, popping three after three. Who can forget the ’shrug’ as he came down the floor?
63 at the Boston Garden
It was insane to watch. He hit ridiculous shot after ridiculous shot. It was the first time we really realized just what Michael Jordan was capable of. And to do it at the Garden against the Celtics made it all that much more amazing.
During game one of the Bulls first championship run, Jordan pulled this poster shot out of his ear. It was the moment everyone realized Magic’s torch had been passed…
“The Last Shot”
He could have walked away after this shot with the storybook ending.
51 at 38
A lot of us questioned his decision to come back; here he not so subtly reminded us just who he was.
All you had to do is look at the crowd to understand the respect the man’s peers had for him. This was the biggest gathering of NBA stars seen since the top 50 of all time was assembled. When the best ever reaches the top of the highest mountain, the greats come out to pay homage.
He didn’t just revolutionize the game, he reinvented it. He may not have had quite the dunk of Dr. J. He wasn’t the marksman Larry was. He didn’t posses Magic’s deft passing touch. But there has never, in any sport, been a combination of so many tools. He was able to bring greatness out of average players, and make great players seem average. He was a man amongst boys. And most of all, he did it with class, dignity, and integrity.
Michael Jordan was not simply the greatest basketball player of all time; Michael Jordan was the greatest athlete and sportsman of our times as well. Thanks for the memories, Mike. May they all one day be like you.