Saturday, September 12, 2009

Separating the Player from the Person
Wow - what an interesting speech Michael Jordan gave at his Hall of Fame induction last night. It has spawned tons of internet chat and opinion. And ... it brings to light the notion of the player vs the man -- what you do vs who you are.

Was Michael Jordan the best basketball player ever? Yeah, it is fun to debate this. Having seen so many of Jordan's clutch shots, outstanding performances, and unbelievable feats, I believe Jordan to not only be the best basketball player of all time, but the best team sport player of all time. When the game was on the line, he almost always came through.

Six championships. A dynasty. Something unknown to Chicago sports fans. The best of the best.

But what about Jordan -- the man?

The induction speech seemed to show a small, bitter man. Why take shots at those who you feel have slighted you when you are receiving such a big honor? The answer is pretty evident. Jordan, the man, is all about Jordan.

Yeah, we know he is a great player. Ask his teammates. They won because of him, yet had to take crap from him all the time. It would be interesting to hear what they really think about Jordan.

While he did show some honor in marrying Juanita when she got pregnant, he cheated on her, probably to an extent that has been hushed with lots of mobney fans paid to see the greatest player in the NBA. Guys with kids -- guys who respect their wives and their families -- just don't do that.

I laughed every time I heard about Jordan and his gambling. Two things seemed evident: He couldn't stop, and he sucked. Ever hear a story about Jordan winning a bet? Not this guy.

Jordan deflected criticism aimed at him for not doing much to help the plight of African Americans. I feel sorry for any athletes or entertainers who have this burden placed upon them. But Jordan never really seemed to care much about it. He was always looking for the green and looking out for himself.

I guess that I could go on and on evaluating Jordan's stature as a man. But I won't. None of us would probably enjoy having someone hold us responsible for what we have done.

Botom line: If I'm picking sides for a street basketball game, I pick Jordan first before any player past or present. But if I am inviting someone to my house for a beer afterwards, he is way down the list. Don't be surprised to find that others feel this way too.


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Well said.

5:09 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

the guy has an ego and a chip on his shoulder for everyone who doubted his ability, so what. he used that to fuel his desire to win.

maybe he could've been more humble. but he's a strong competitor and it came out in his speech.

the only part of his speech that made me uncomfortable was when he told his children "i'm glad i'm not you". that was pretty lame IMO.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

Missed the speech but I agree. Jordan is the best NBA player of all time. His ability to win along with the amazing athletic feats and skill prove that.

9:26 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

smokkee, a guy on the top of the world needs to demean people? He invites his old hs teammate just to publicly crap on him? Who did he even thank besides his mother?

Using people who doubted his ability as a motivational tool was cool. Feeling the need to take shots at everyone while he was being honored was not.

If he were a poker blogger, I bet you'd think he was a douche bag.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

I read somewhere that when he retired (for the last time) from the Wizards, the rest of the Wizards players didn't even chip in for a retirement gift...they were just happy to see him go.

6:32 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I would be happy to help you if you need any advice lightbulb.

11:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home