SPANISH HARLEM – With nothing much going in sports, ESPN has decided to air the Michael Jordan documentary that they had planned for in June. “The Last Dance” is a 10-part series that follows Jordan and the Chicago Bulls through their 1997 season, which was his last with the Bulls and lead to his final championship ring. As I heard the news, it got me thinking about my days watching him torment my beloved New York Knicks. I despised him for the most part early on but as I grew older I appreciated his greatness.
It surprises now there are so many young athletes and fans that never got to see him play and that makes me feel old. What’s worse is that they never got to see the legend build as I did. The highlights came almost every night, as did the avalanche of daggers he heaped on teams to win late in games. He was a one-man wrecking crew and there was no one in the world that could do anything about it. I feel fortunate to have seen the greatness in person, from his early days as a hot rookie, to him becoming to the best in the NBA and finally the Greatest Of All Time.
What Made Him Great (IMO):
It wasn’t that as fans we never saw someone dunk before but it was the elegance and grace with which he did it. The reason we called him AIR Jordan was because he glided in the air like no one before him. It was so dam cool to watch and even better in slow motion, it was like watching the best painters in the world craft their work. His style was unique in that he made something so difficult to many people in the world, look so easy. Trust me when I tell that players in the league did not want to be put on another Jordan poster and those that did were left to watch their egos splattered on the walls of fans.
THE SCORING ABILITY
Oh no, my friends… Jordan was more than just splashy dunks. He was the most deadly scorer in the league and likely the most dangerous of all time. If the game was on the line, everyone knew the ball was going to MJ and more often than not, that meant your team was losing the game. Just Google all of Jordan’s game winning shots and you will be amazed at how many there are. The guy won his last championship on one of those shots and many fans back then weren’t even surprised when it happened.
Here are 10 game-winners:
But guess what? That’s not even the half the of it. Ask me about the circus shots. He was the absolute master. They usually came when getting fouled but man were they awesome and still never fully duplicated by anyone else. It’s almost like he had a knack for making shots that others couldn’t and it only fueled his legacy.
As a kid it was all about the sneakers. That’s all I wanted. You were not cool unless you had a pair of AIR Jordans on. It crazy to think that they are still cool to this day and he hasn’t played basketball in almost 20 years. He made his sneakers the must-have for any kid in the hood and anything else wasn’t even close. Nike is the biggest sneaker in the world because of him. He changed the sneaker industry as we know it and made having a signature shoe the dream of many athletes.
If you’re a fan of basketball, you need watch this series and buy the “Ultimate Jordan” video. I still have my CD copy and going back to some of the highlights made me smile and then it didn’t because… I realized how old I got.
That’s it for now, comment below and come back tomorrow for a guy that can dunk [donuts] like nobody else, Different Matt.