Tuesday, April 7, 2009

M.J. Gets His Due

"Fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me."

Michael Jordan was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2009 yesterday, along with David Robinson, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan (Utah Jazz Coach), Jerry Sloan, and C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers Women's Coach). This announcement was made in Detroit, site of the Men's Final Four. The induction will be held September 10th-12th in Springfield MA, home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Michael's Hall of Fame selection was a slam dunk after he retired as perhaps the greatest player in history and Monday, he gave much of the credit to his college coach... "There's no way that you guys would have got a chance to see Michael Jordan play without Dean Smith," he said. His soaring dunks, Nike commercials, and "Air Jordan" nickname helped stamp him as one the most recognizable athletes around the world. He finished a 15-year career with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards with 32,292 points... the third highest total in league history, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Karl Malone. His final career average of 30.12 goes down as the best, just ahead of Wilt Chamberlain's 30.07.

The five-time NBA MVP won six championships with the Bulls and another in college with North Carolina. The Tar Heels played Michigan State in the national championship game last night as I wrote this (that's the thing about writing sports posts... you really have to be timely). Tar Heels Coach Roy Williams was an assistant coach with North Carolina on that 1982 national championship team and he was at Monday's induction where Ty Lawson won the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation's top point guard.

Jordan retired twice during his career. He first came back to the Bulls in 1994 and won three more championships before retiring again in 1998. He then had an ill-fated two-year stint with the Washington Wizards before calling it quits for good in 2003.

Of course, M.J. means a lot to me and guys of my generation. Like President Barack Obama, Michael Jordan is in my age bracket so, I lived vicariously through him for years. When he was winning championships, every guy I know that followed basketball felt as though they were winning too. We wanted to "be like Mike".

I only buy Nike footwear because Mike and Charles Barkley wore Nikes. I didn't try to play golf though... I didn't take it that far. I actually thought that M.J. was already in the Basketball Hall of Fame. When I found out that he was just inducted, along with "Mister" David Robinson and John Stockton (a point guard I greatly admired back then), I felt a huge vicarious surge of pride.

So, for M.J., David, and John, my imaginary shot glass is raised in your honor! Congratulations! You guys deserve it!

24 comments:

ShellyShell said...

Ahh Keith we can agree on something! Jordan is who made me love Carolina! I remember watching the game his freshman year and he hit that jump shot and from that moment. I became a TARHEEL fan!

To me Jordan was the ULTIMATE player. His desire to want to win and his competitiveness made me love him even more! I had the life size poster of him on my ceiling and one of the other MJ on my wall! I still remember when the Jordan's came out. I had to have them. I got them in Red and Black and the metallic blue and white ones! I played all my bball games in the blue and white ones! When I was on the court. I dreamed of playing like him! LOL!

You're right. Jordan definitely put Nikes on the map! I wear them sometime but they don't make a great running shoe! It's more for show!
But as you said! Congratulations Mike,David,John! My glass of red is raised to you! Especially to Mike because he's also celebrating his alma mater being the 2009 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS....GO HEELS!

LOL! You know I had to Keith!

CareyCarey said...

I hate North Carolina and that rubbery face coach. Hansburough will be a deep bench player in the NBA.

Okay, I got that out of my system. MJ is the best player of all time ...hands down!

Shoutout to Vivian as well.

The Admiral wasn't bad either. I wonder how many people know what college team he played for ...I know you do keith.

James Perkins said...

My shot glass is raised to Michael!

Simon Bastion said...

MJ was hands down the best!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Mike was the baddest, no doubt about that.

Cheryl said...

Not really a sports fan, but Michael Jordan is one athlete that made me love sports!

Tate2 said...

Nuff Said-MJ was and is the Man!!

Jazzy said...

Good Post, I couldn't agree with you more.

Swaggie said...

I missed a great part of his career because I was so young, but I've seen the highlight films..He was something.

Sean said...

I don't care if it's Politics or Sports, you're up on it man.

Captain Jack said...

Not a sports fan, but MJ was and still is a gorgeous hunk of man!!

Angie B. said...

I'm with shelly shell,MJ made me love the Tar Heels and The Bulls!

Toni said...

Good Post Keith...I don't know a person who doesn't love MJ.

Lisa said...

Love MJ.

Vanessa said...

lolol@ Captain Jack-I agree-MJ is a gorgeous hunk of man.

Halo said...

I was too young through most of his
career, but I too have seen films of MJ...and I agree, he was the greatest.

Sunflower said...

I wasn't a basketball fan (still not really one) until Michael Jordan started playing! Great Post Keith.

Anonymous said...

Larry Bird was the Greatest as far as I'm concerned.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

I've always been a MJ fan! Love him.

Rich Fitzgerald said...

The Bulls weren't anything before MJ and they haven't been much since MJ, that says a lot right there.

You know MJ is cold when players right now think twice about wearing his number, because if they can't bring it, they will get clowned on for even THINKING about donning number 23.

Hey Keith, just think, Jordan went #3 in the draft the year he went in the NBA AFTER Hakeem Alajuwan and Sam Bowie. Can you believe they didn't even think he was worthy of the #1 pick despite making leading the Tarheels to the National Championship the year prior.

Lastly, how many NBA greats got iced out of EVER winning a ring because of Jordan? I can think of at least two -- Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley.

The need more than just the Hall of Fame to honor him.

Keith said...

@Shelly Shell- lololol- Yeah ,I knew you did...I thought about you the entire time they were blowing out Michigan....I knew that you were probably leaping in the sky,yelling and screaming.

SLC said...

I didn't try to play golf though...

Uhhhhh what about their penchant for gambling..........

Just joking there. Is Sir Charles a Sixer or a Sun?

Keith said...

@SLC- To Me ,Sir Charles will always be a SIXER!!!

Marcus LANGFORD said...

Mike is the GOAT when it comes to basketball and sports branding. No one will ever have the sports branding ability of Mike and just like you, Nike is the only sneaker I wear because of Mike's influence. I haven't bought Air Jordan's in ages because I'm more of Nike Shox fan, but I love Air Jordan apparel.




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