It's official, Jordan is back in the NBA.
September 10, 2001 10:05 PM   Subscribe

It's official, Jordan is back in the NBA. He's claiming it's for the love of the game, but I'm guessing maybe the book and the movie didn't do as well as he hoped? Do you think he'll pop back in and dominate the game, or have the Kobes and Iversons of the world passed him by?
posted by mathowie (20 comments total)
Seeing Jordan sink the championship winning shot in his last game was nothing short of a religious experience. He was a master; watching him play was to see an artist at work.

The endorsements and commercials aside, he was a genius on the court - on a par with DaVinci and Einstein.

I don't want to see him lose. I want that memory, that beautiful vicarious experience, to remain unsullied. Though I can claim none but purely selfish motives, I wish he'd remain in retirement. I don't belive I can bear the trauma of seeing Iverson (the anti-Jordan if there ever was one) leave him sprawled on the court in the wake of a crossover.
posted by aladfar at 10:27 PM on September 10, 2001

It's not official, but will be in about 9 days. His "For the love of the game" comment was apparently aimed at his recent training. At least that's what his PR is saying now. Of course he probably did mean it in the sense that he was returning.
posted by physics at 10:34 PM on September 10, 2001

We gotta love the man. Come on for real...He has chops and just the idea of him playing or assembling a team of underdogs makes me wanna watch. The ironic thang is that MJ (Michael Jackson) is doing the same thang as MJ...
posted by nakedjon at 10:57 PM on September 10, 2001


I'd say something constructive here but I can'
posted by Hackworth at 11:06 PM on September 10, 2001

Finally I can watch basketball again, and he's playing for my hometown team. I have tried to watch basketball since he retired, but it just hasn't been the same. Whether its the punks who are more likely to get arrested than sink a shot, or Shaq and Kobe fighting and not seeming to really enjoy winning a championship - nobody in the current game has "it" -- that special thing that Jordan has. I'm not from Chicago and am ambivalent towards the city, but while Jordan was there I jumped on the Bulls bandwagon and what a ride it was. When MJ was sick, most other players would take the night off - this guy would score 50 points.

Hail Jordan!
posted by owillis at 11:19 PM on September 10, 2001

as much joy as i derive from the prospect of seeing Jordan again, i hope he enjoys a losing season if only to determine how much he loves the game in the midst of a Washington Bullets Generals Wizards season.
posted by donkeysuck at 11:22 PM on September 10, 2001

I totally agree that Jordan was a genius on the court and a complete breakthrough player. He was nearly perfect in every aspect of the game and a thrill to watch. He single-handedly turned the Bulls franchise into a success and media darling.

On the other hand, Larry Bird was an awesome player as well. Why doesn't he make a comeback as a player? He knows he has limitations. Jordan should have found this out during his stint as a would-be baseball player. He has all the talent in the world but absolutely no sense of his own ability to fail and humanity. He has become the forty-something who approaches midlife and answers it with a red convertible, college girls and gansta rap.

He must either hang up the jersey for good or become a has-been who has been blown away by the young players who learned from him. I think that this is just sad.
posted by ttrendel at 11:41 PM on September 10, 2001

This seems to happen to lots of players in pro sports - they leave the game, take some time off, get bored, and attempt a comeback. However, outside of Mario Lemieux (or MJ post-baseball), I can't think of another high-caliber athlete that attempted such a thing. Especially when he has nothing left to prove, and more money than most would know what to do with.

As far as his effectiveness goes - I can't help but think of the cliche of a once-awesome baseball pitcher (cf. David Cone) losing his overpowering fastball and relying on off-speed stuff, pinpoint pitch location, and veteran guile to gut out a few wins and prolong his career.

Regardless of whether it's a good idea, I'm sure David Stern (NBA Commissioner) is pleased as peach to know his Airness is returning.
posted by popshots75 at 11:51 PM on September 10, 2001

popshots: Muhammad Ali and Joe Lewis, etc., etc.. Lewis didn't have the money, due to owing the IRS, which was why attempted the comeback. Muhammad had the money, if I remember correctly, which he later turned out not to have invested so well. George Foreman did come back after an early retirement, in his own fashion, and with endorsements related to the comeback has made more money than probably anyone your or I will ever know. (Hint: I have one of his li'l grills in my kitchen.)
posted by raysmj at 12:05 AM on September 11, 2001

Now you get to watch him decay.
posted by pracowity at 12:10 AM on September 11, 2001

excuse me: Joe Louis. Wow. Sorry.
posted by raysmj at 12:22 AM on September 11, 2001

This is sad. Even as a UK resident with little access to live basketball, I'm convinced one of the greatest moments in sport was Jordon's final on-court flourish... the tongue out, the jump-shot with the pose held as the ball winged it's way to the basket to win the NBA finals... as a way to finish a career it was unsurpassed in all of sport.
posted by Cobbler at 2:15 AM on September 11, 2001

...on a par with DaVinci and Einstein

Showing my Canadian underskirts here, maybe, but this is basketball we're talking about right? Freakishly tall guys running around trying to throw a ball through a metal hoop? I mean, I know some folks love their sports heroes, for some reason mostly inexplicable to me, but Einstein?! Sheesh, I say to you, and sheesh once again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:53 AM on September 11, 2001

[That Gretzky was pretty smart, though.]

No, I'm with StheWC: an athlete is only any good in comparison to other athletes. When you call an athlete a genius, you have to mean "damned good at controlling a rubber ball" or something to that effect.
posted by pracowity at 3:47 AM on September 11, 2001

>The endorsements and commercials aside, he was a
>genius on the court - on a par with DaVinci and Einstein.

I didn't know DaVinci and Einstein played basketball.
posted by blastboy at 4:06 AM on September 11, 2001

> > genius on the court - on a par with DaVinci and Einstein.
> I didn't know DaVinci and Einstein played basketball.

Maybe he meant golf.
posted by pracowity at 4:38 AM on September 11, 2001

I suspect that Jordan's return to basketball will be much like the return of Hall of Famer hockey player, Guy Lafleur. When Lafleur made his comeback with the New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques, he still had some of the amazing speed and talent from his heyday. But not all of it. As a result, he put up some decent statistical numbers for a 3rd line player, but they weren't great. In fact, they were the worst seasons of his career.
Do I want to see Jordan play basketball? No. I don't want the last memories of Michael Jordan to be of him finishing 19th in scoring and having his team get knocked out of the first round by Iverson or Carter or Grant.
posted by Grum at 5:00 AM on September 11, 2001

Stavros is right, it's not even as though the guy can play Rugby League or anything. Then I'd be impressed.
posted by vbfg at 5:48 AM on September 11, 2001

Regardless of whether it's a good idea, I'm sure David Stern (NBA Commissioner) is pleased as peach to know his Airness is returning.

I not sure about this. The NBA struggled with low interest and low ratings after Jordan's exit. It seemed to me that the NBA was just starting to pull away from the Jordan mystique with players like Iverson, Kobe, etc. Now the NBA is going to deal with this again in a couple years. If I was Stern, I wouldn't be happy about that possibility.
posted by sexymofo at 6:11 AM on September 11, 2001

On June 14, 1998, I rushed from the best concert of my life (Tibetan Freedom Concert) in order to watch the Bulls and the Jazz play for the NBA championship. I arrived at this really cool sports bar in D.C. (I don't remember the name, but it's got a crashed car sticking out of it). I sat down with my three best friends, ordered an Imperial Stout, and watched Michael sink the defining shot of his career.

That memory will be with me forever. His coming out of retirement will not alter that memory. In fact, it may even give me another story or two to tell the (at this point entirely theoretical) grandkids. I wish him well.
posted by Optamystic at 6:11 AM on September 11, 2001

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