MJ

In celebration of Michael Jordan’s 52nd birthday, Isaiah, Scott, and Johnny give their answers to various MJ questions:


 

1. What’s’ your favorite Michael Jordan memory?

Isaiah: It has to be his game-winner against the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.  I was only 8 years old at that time and despite being a Lakers fan, Michael Jordan was my favorite player.  A part of me is a little disappointed that he didn’t make that his final game, though.

Scott: The game winner against the Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals. I recognize that as MJ’s final game and what a way to go out! He’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen and don’t think anyone will overtake his throne for while.

Johnny: Jordan’s 4th title. This was an emotional time for him as it was Father’s Day and was his first title since his father was murdered back in 1993. The ultimate competitor, this showed the human side of Jordan. The images of him on the floor sobbing in what should have been a time to celebrate was heartbreaking to behold.

 


 

Jordan

2. What is Jordan’s biggest impact left with today’s NBA players?

Isaiah: Marketing.  Michael Jordan was superbly marketed by Nike and it did wonders to both the league and the player.  Nowadays, shoe companies are pushing athletes like never before. Funny how basketball is a team sport.

Scott: Outside of his six rings, I’d say personal branding. The Jordan brand is more popular now than when MJ was playing. He started with the baggy shorts and style off the court and this past All-Star weekend there was a fashion show. Jordan was smart enough to know basketball was a platform not only for his game, but for his personal brand that has exploded since he retired.

Johnny: Undoubtedly marketing. The platform he created really did shape the way players get their brand out there. You now see athletes signing multimillion dollar contract to give themselves a marketing platform, which was heavily influenced by ‘His Airness’ himself.

 


 

MJ

3. What’s one word to describe Jordan and why?

Isaiah: Transcendent.  There was no one who was the perfect mold of talent, work ethic, personality, and success as he, and there will never be anyone like him.

Scott: Respect. Whether you were a fan or his or not, you respected his game. He was relentless in his pursuit to win and be the best. MJ didn’t rest on his athletic ability, instead he worked harder and smarter than any other player. Even players today that didn’t watch him play know about his legend. That is the ultimate respect.

Johnny: Competitor. Arguably one of the fiercest competitors in sports history, Jordan was simply a killer out on the court. It’s a lost art in today’s sports to find a player who can run his mouth, but back up every single word. He knew he was the best on the court, let people know about it, then showed everyone what he was all about. He accepted all challengers, knowing in the back of his mind that they stood no chance against him.

 


 

MJ/LBJ

4. Can a 52-year old Jordan still play in today’s NBA?

Isaiah:  Unbelievably, yes.  He can’t average the minutes he played during his playing days, but in limited minutes, why not.  He’s kept himself in shape.  His skills are still there.  The athleticism may have diminished but he still is one of the smartest basketball players ever.

Scott: In spot minutes, yes. He could play 20 minutes a game and still average double digits. His footwork and fundamentals are better than most current NBA players and he can still intimidate some stars today. It would be must see TV.

Johnny: Like Scott said, MJ could play some spot minutes but that said, I’m not sure how many. At 52 years old, I am not sure his body could withstand the athleticism we see in today’s NBA, but to be honest, just his competitiveness would allow him to perform at a decent level. Who doesn’t want to see Durant vs Jordan, or even LeBron posting up Jordan? Check out this video from this past summer and make your own conclusions about MJ’s current game:

 


 

MJ/Kobe

5. Who comes the closest to Jordan in today’s game?

Isaiah:  Kobe.  From patterning his game after MJ to telling him he could beat him, not one other NBA player comes close.  No has else the drive and discipline to push himself to be greater.

Scott: Kobe. No one else is in that conversation. Not only has Kobe patterned his game after MJ, but he’s almost caught up to him in every statistical category. MJ is better, but even he would say Kobe is the closest thing to himself. I mean he stole all his moves right?

Johnny: Kobe and it’s not even close. Kobe modeled his game after Jordan, studied him, asked him for advice, and has consistently shown flashes of MJ in his game throughout his career (even the trash talking). How Jordan/Kobe played the game is a lost art in the new era of up and down basketball. I’ve always wondered if a player like Durant studied and emulated Jordan’s game like Kobe did, what we could potentially see (and that is scary).


 

Happy Birthday MJ!

About The Author

NBA & MLS writer for Game 7 Network. Former host of The Half Court Heave Podcast, and was a writer for Laker Nation. LA-born, Philippine-raised, Las Vegas-living.

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