It's a quaint, cheeky concept that Michael Jordan would look back on a career where he managed every single individual achievment—scoring titles, MVPs, gold medals, All-Star games, the pinnacle of commercial appeal—followed as well by every single team achievment—six NBA titles, more gold medals—and find his own one shining momeny where nobody would ever consider looking.
When he was officially elected into the NBA Hall of Fame yesterday, Jordan was aksed for a favorite moment in his career.
"It was the third game of my rookie season and I was coming to a program that, we were rebounding, we were coming from the bottom and trying to work our way up to the top," Jordan said.
A Chicago writer points out that Jordan's memory was just slightly off. His Bulls squad came back from a bigger deficit than he could recall. It was in fact the third game of the '84 season, but he incorrectly recalled the Bulls coming from 16 points behind to win. Oh well.
Jordan didn't reach the NBA mountaintop that year, or even the next. It took him a full six as a pro to get past the Celtics, Pistons and Lakers and to, along with Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen, foment his Bulls into the last nearly decade-long dynasty, a team that may have won eight consecutive titles had Jordan not opted to chase Double-A curveballs for a time.
But his statement was telling. His greatest moment? The third game in? It's as if at that point, he knew where he could get to. The rest would simply be the product of his personal inertia, his velocity in the direction of an inevitable destination.
But that destination is more than the Hall.
MJ's bust in Springfield seems like an afterthought. His statue lingered outside the United Center well before he finally called it quits. And even when he did, his magnetism and aura never really receded. He is a basketball diety. Hours after his press conference, North Carolina went out and ran over Michigan State wearing the same blue and whites Jordan used to wear. Of course now, the label on their jerseys bears the likeness of the man himself. It's hard to think Jordan, three games into his NBA career, knew that it could ever come to this. And I mean all of it.
But with this guy, who really knows?
Breaking a little wind will now get you booked.
So softball gets the boot, and now we want women's baseball in the Olympics?