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Michael Jordan is Dead
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Michael Jordan is Dead
Written By Robert Littal
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       My first serious girlfriend was when I was a freshman in college at The Ohio State
University.  Her name was Kim; she was at the time in my mind the perfect woman.  She was
drop dead gorgeous, she was smart, she was funny and did I mention she was drop dead
gorgeous?  We went out for about a year and a half before the inevitable breakup (more on
that later) and afterwards I went through somewhat of a phenomenon.  No matter what
woman I dated after that they never measured up to Kim.  Didn’t matter how sexy, how
smart, how funny and etc etc.  They couldn’t make me laugh like Kim, they couldn’t fit those
jeans like Kim, they couldn’t do that thing with their tongue….ahhhhhh, but I digress.  The
point was that no matter how cool these young ladies were they just never measured up,
the reason had nothing to do with them but everything to do with me.  Kim was my first true
love and no matter what anyone says it is hard to get rid of the feelings for your first.  What
does any of this has to do with Michael Jordan, if you think about it, it has a lot to do with
how fans and the media treat NBA players today.

       The NBA had a very bad image in the 70’s, drugs were a serious problem, attendance
suck and the NBA Finals were being show on tape delay after midnight.  It was a bad time
for the league, but that all changed when Magic and Bird entered the league.  The Celtics
and Lakers rivalry ushered in a new era in the 80’s and set the stage for the person who
would chance the face of the game.  Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

       If you are between the ages of 25-35 MJ is your first.  You may have some recollection
of Dr. J or David Thompson, but MJ was the first player you thought could fly.  He was the
first player that made you get a shoe because A- you thought it would make you a better
baller and B- you thought it would make you a better “baller” (I know I have a diverse
reading audience, so if you want to know what I mean by that just email me).  He was the
first to make wearing a basketball jersey to the club cool.  He was the first to turn the NBA
hip-hop.  Everything that most Generation X kids and now young adults know about the NBA
starts with Michael Jordan.

Besides fans and media, the current players in league also idolized Jordan, for many of
them he is the player they model their game after and why they started to play basketball in
the first place.  From Harold Minor to Lebron James the #23 only means one thing
“greatness” and that is why you see so many basketball players be it high school, college,
pro, or the men’s rec league sporting that number.  You think Kobe Bryant chose to change
his number to #24 because he wanted to more like Jack Bauer or he wants to one up MJ?

       The facts are that Michael Jordan is your “Kim”.  A lot of you are too young to
remember the criticism that MJ endured in those early years and if you are old enough you
have blocked it from your mind.  He was branded a selfish player who didn’t get him
teammates involved and a scorer who didn’t understand the team concept who would never
win a championship (sound familiar).  The interesting thing was this didn’t just come from
the media it came from players as well like Larry Bird.  Most people now only remember the
fact that MJ won 6 rings and is considered by most to be the greatest basketball player of all
time. The problem with this is that Michael Jordan broke up with you in 1998 when he
pushed off Bryon Russell and won his 6th ring (I don’t count the Wizard years).  That was 8
years ago and it appears many of you have refused to let your first love go.

       No matter how talented the player is, in the minds of the media and the fans they just
don’t measure up to MJ.  They don’t have the desire, they don’t have the killer instinct, they
don’t make their teammates better, they don’t take over games, they don’t have charisma,
their shoes suck, their commercials aren’t cool and etc etc.

       Which brings me back to my relationship with Kim.  We broke all those years ago and
to be honest I have forgotten the reason, had something to do with being able to spread her
wings or something like that, but that isn’t the point.  After a couple of years and numerous
relationships I broke off because I couldn’t get past the issue of finding someone exactly like
Kim, it finally hit me.  Instead of looking for a Kim clone, I should be looking at what made
the young ladies who were interested in me special.  Not coincidently when I came to this
realization two things immediately happen, 1- I realized I screwed over a lot of women (no
pun intended) and 2- to appreciate the past, but live in the present.

       Michael Jordan was possibly the greatest basketball player of all time, but he isn’t
coming back and it isn’t fair to Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Vince, KG, Dirk, Nash, Arenas or any
star player in the league to be compared to MJ.  In the efforts to find the next Jordan, you
are missing out on The First Lebron.  The King is doing things that a 21 year old shouldn’t
even be close to doing on a basketball court.  You are missing out on The First Kobe.  
Blessed to play on championships teams early in his career, but after many trials and
tribulations, the transformation from Kobe Sykwalker to Darth Kobe is almost complete.  You
are missing out on The First D Wade.  Passed over in the draft by teams who thought he
was too small to play the position he is now trying to help a great Center who is past his
prime to one more championship similar to what Magic did for Kareem.

Open you eyes people and you will be surprised at what you see.  Michael Jordan is dead, it
is time to move on.