Michael Jordan FINALLY done
Its about time. I was a huge Jordan fan growing up. He was the player who got me to start following basketball back in 1986. Because of him I root for the Bulls and North Carolina. Because of him, I bought the tape single of "Like Mike" and kept playing it over and over in my walkman. I never had any basketball skills but hey, like the song says, I could dream.
That Jordan won three straight championships. Coming back from clanking a chance at the game winner in Game 1 of the '91 finals against the Lakers to lead the Bulls to the next four games in a row. Lighting up the Blazers with threes and leading the Bulls to a comeback victory in Game 6 in '92. Finishing off the threepeat by beating Charles Barkley and the Suns in '93 thanks to John Paxson's three pointer to clinch Game 6. Then something awful happened. His father was murdered. From there Jordan went into hiding for a few years and came back wearing number 45 for the Bulls in 1995. There were rumors of someone who looked like Jordan playing minor league but I think it was that Johnny Kilroy fellow. Jordan playing baseball never happened. After a humbling loss to the Magic in the 1995 playoffs, Jordan led them to another three peat. Finishing it off with a push off shot against Bryon Russell to clinch the title. ESPN magazine ran a pull out poster of that moment and just seeing the pain of the Jazz fans as the ball is in the air is priceless. The ball hasn't even reached its target, but they knew their fate was already sealed. They always knew. In the crowd is a lone Bulls fan who is standing up with his arms in the air since when it came to crunch time, Mike rarely missed. Let alone a shot that would net him his sixth championship. That was the way to end it. The most fitting end to the greatest career in basketball history.
It should have ended there but as well all know, it didn't. Jordan came back to play for the friggin' Washington Wizards. I couldn't even bear myself to watch him play half the time. He just wasn't himself. He was old, slow and fat. He would have the occasional game where he would show flashes but that was it. It was torture to watch him play on this team with a bunch of underworking stiffs. But finally after two excruciating years he has called it a career. He finished it off getting a mercy foul and making both free throws. Somehow, I just don't see ESPN Magazine making a fold out of that one. Oh yeah, the Wizards were blown out. Way to fuck up your legacy Mike.
Do you think Gatorade will make a song "Like Dirk"?