I grew up idolizing Michael Jordan like every other Black, un-gay kid in the 80′s. Of course, being from L.A., he didn’t have shit on Magic Johnson & Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr, but that’s for another day. Of course, I knew about the Nate Archibald’s, “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s, Julius Erving’s, & what not, but the tales of them cats was all folklore. They were before my day. As I got older, & my dad instilled in me that love of the game, I knew that Michael Jeffrey Jordan was the illest cat of my generation.
I still remember my first (of only 2) pair of Jordan’s my dad bought me. God bless him, because in hindsight, I know I was wearing 2 days worth of overtime in my feet. They were the first issues, with the winged basketball & “Air Jordan” banner. Youngsters, I’m talking about before his silhouette was as good as his signature.
Without a rundown of his accolades, I’ll say the year he jumped from the free throw line in the dunk contest, it was a wrap. Michael Jordan literally changed the face of Black America’s favorite pastime. Revolutionized, if you will.
Now cats, some of which weren’t even old enough to actually have seen the man play for the championship, Phil Jackson-led Chicago Bulls, think his number should be retired. As a lifelong fan of the player, as opposed to the human being, I can say with a clear conscious that, while a fantastic athlete, no man deserves to have his number exclusively retired. I just think that’s a tad bit fellatious. Besides, Michael Jordan is surely bigger than a paltry couple of numbers. What’s a set of digits when you ARE basketball?
The man is synonymous with the sport, the lifestyle. No matter what anybody, including Kobe Bryant, does in regards to the hardwood, the legacy will forever remained fully intact. With all due respect, will setting aside his number add or subtract anything to or from his legend? Plus, there’s a huge chance that more casual basketball players know his shadow icon rather than the fact that Jerry West is the man on the logo for the entire league. That speaks volumes to his voyage alone. & I dare any person to go an entire day without seeing at least one kid wearing a pair of his shoes, no matter how ridiculously priced.
If the #23 is retired, it should be because Gilbert Arenas got it irreversibly filthy. Just saying.
I guess next we should retire skin bleach cream, penny loafers & rhinestone-covered hand wear. No shots.
Then again, maybe I’m just hating a little because I’ve never been able to dunk a basketball. Not even with my tongue hanging out.