Great day to start a basketball blog.
Five years ago on this very date, Michael Jeffrey Jordan put on a Wizards uniform for the first time. "I have decided to end my retirement and further my legacy," Jordan said, "and also remind Derek Jeter that no matter how great he thinks he is, he works for me, and I do what the fuck I want, which includes Mariah Carey."
There were many detractors, of course. One man wrote: "Most people are not looking to see Jordan come back for 'the love of the game.' If he can't again be the best player on the planet, he might as well stay retired and let us smile at our memories." The man who wrote that was not named John Smallwood. He was named John Smallwood, Jr. (Full article here)
I remember where I was when I found out MJ was coming back (my friend Matt's house), and I remember how excited it made me. I watched him play as much as I could [in Vermont] from his first preseason game against the Pistons. What I really remember is his extremely memorable all-star showing.
It was in that 2003 all-star game that Jordan cemented his legacy by hitting a ridiculous game-winner with 4.5 seconds left. There was only one problem:
"It was MJ’s night," an incredulous O’Neal said as he pulled a skull cap over his head, "That was going to be a legendary shot." (note: Just look at his legs. He stands like a school girl when he celebrates.)
(For a video of Isiah Thomas, who I dislike, acting like a complete homo, click here. The title of the video is "Isiah 'Zeke' Thomas - Smooth Criminal" which would be potentially gangster if the name was anyone but "Isiah 'Zeke' Thomas".)
MJ tried to laugh it off, after Kobe tied the game, saying shit like, "ha ha ha, Jermaine, i can't believe he did that, ha ha." But you know deep down in his heart he was like, "Man, Jermaine, you babyfaced motherfucker, I can't believe you just fucked up my shit and you're ON MY FUCKING TEAM!" Then he probably watched this, polished his old medals a little bit, and smiled.
But I digress. My point is, MJ was the fucking man. The fucking man. He was on the cover of SI 49 times. That's basically a year of SIs all dedicated to him. He was sued for $417,000,000 by a man named Allen Heckard because he "gets comments about his resemblance to basketball superstar Michael Jordan and he's fed up with it". $417 million dollars. Think about that. (How a lawyer could possibly take that case and not be disbarred is beyond me.)
I'm very happy to dedicate this blog entry to MJ and hope anyone reading this remembers just how much better life was when it was possible to watch him, at worst, on a weekly basis. I mean, if they trotted him out tomorrow, I'd probably watch, just because when I consider what he's done, I think there's a reasonable chance he'd be more exciting to watch than Dirk Nowitzki. It was even fun to watch him on the Wizards. What's that you say, you don't remember it being fun? Maybe you should do a little research before you talk. Right, that's what I thought. Two-handed, pin-it-on-the glass block, motherfucker, I'm 37. Pop, pop...pops. JV&MJ forever...