MJ. Michael Jordan. Air Jordan. Money. His Airness. The GOAT.
In honor of Michael Jordan to officially be inducted into The Hall of Fame, many writers and sports channels are focusing on what he did on the basketball court. We can talk about the rings, scoring titles, the shoes, the jumpman, the hang time, the dunks, and endless clutch performances he showed us through the 1980s and 1990s, but I'm not going to focus on that stuff since that type of information will be regurgitated over and over. If you did not get to watch Jordan in his prime then you missed out on watching the greatest basketball player to ever step on the hardwood.
He was bigger than Julius Erving - took everything 2 levels higher.
He was Lebron James, Kobe, Dwayne Wade, and Vince Carter all wrapped into one frame.
Forget how MJ looked like when he played for the Washington Wizards. Forget it. He was damn near 40 years old and still performed better than 80% of the league! Imagine that. Just picture it. Mike was almost 40 years old and played better than a lot of the young guns! Now think about him when he was young in the 1980s then playing during the prime years of the 1990s - Air Jordan was the true unstoppable force. He was magnificent on offense and defense. He truly captured the imagination better than Doctor J and David Thompson. How can one man be the equivalent of magical genius artists, such as Michael Jackson, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and The Beatles, on the basketball court? How can that be possible? It's difficult to fathom and most basketball diehards got to witness this for 2 decades.
He was the ultimate Kung Fu master showing moves we haven't really seen before from the footwork in dicey situations to the airborne acrobatics. We have never seen that layup before in the 1991 Finals against the Lakers. We've never seen that crazy circus layup before in the regular season game against New Jersey Nets in that same year.
The thing I truly admired about Michael Jordan is his answer to adversity. He never backed down to anything or anyone. The gambling, the media, the Bad Boys, the Jordan Rules, Isiah Thomas, the New York Knicks, Reggie Miller, and the Flu game are testaments to his fiery unflappable will - something that I carry on in my life. He might have been knocked down, but was never knocked out. One part in MJ's life that really stuck out for me was his father's death. How can he come back from that? This is where I feel that he showed true strength.
Anyone who lost someone very close to death can understand what he was going through. This wasn't just losing a relationship to some girl or some kind of divorce although those things are difficult to pass through, too. This was different. This was losing a family member forever. It's almost like losing a close friend forever. Redefining your life is probably one of the most difficult experiences to go through after getting out of depression. He had to channel the grieving through baseball - a game where he and James Jordan shared big dreams. Seeing him go through that can make anyone think about things that are more important in the grand scheme of life. That's where I admire him. He was able to move forward from a deadly blow such as that. He showed us that we have to keep going. Every challenge that was thrown at him, Michael was able to provide a strong response.
Money, you earned that Hall of Fame spot with everything you had. You're eternal now.
For the people who do not remember how great he was in his heyday, Hoopsencyclopedia has provided the ultimate Michael Jordan mixes. They are the best highlight packages of Money I have ever seen. Watch. Bask the greatness that is Michael Air Jordan.