Basketball shoes joked during his speech, "What don't people know about me?" Strange enough he answered that question. He was great because he pushed himself more than any other player. Jordan would go further than what a normal person would find acceptable. He found ways to motivate himself, and trick himself into thinking he needed to improve his game to prove someone wrong. If that included waiting until his induction speech to fly out an old high school teammate, to prove to the teammate and old high school coach that he was right and they were wrong, then so be it. Michael Jordan will not be stopped by anyone but Michael Jordan.Adrian Wojnarowski talked in his article about the great speeches of Robinson, Stockton, Sloan, and Stringer during the ceremony. All gave great and socially acceptable speeches. Robinson, Stockton, Sloan, and Stringer are all great, but they are no Michael Jordan. Just like his talent, Jordan gave a speech which only he could give. He also gave his secret to success to all those who were listening.At the end of his speech he also used his secret to again give himself motivational fuel. Any other player mentioning the idea of playing in their fifties would be a clear joke. Jordan looked dead serious when he stated the idea of playing in his fifties. The laughter from the audience at the apparent joke will surely give Jordan more motivation to succeed at his future goals.
There are few NBA stars that possess the ability to have there first names be recognizable above any other name in their sport.Today's game boasts interesting names such as Kobe and LeBron but before they were even old enough to lace up sneakers one man separated basketball from sports.Michael was, and remains, the most recognizable name in not just sports but in popular entertainment. His air-ness may share his name with the King of Pop and their achievements may be similar on a global stage but jordan retro ability to combine his achievements as an athlete and his ability to bolster his public image with his successes in the business world undoubtedly separate him from the other Michael.Jordan entered a league dominated by Magic, Doctor J., Larry, Kareem and Moses. Among those titans of basketball, Jordan managed to captivate the sporting world while playing for an untalented Bulls team.Jordan's career seemed to reach new levels each season but his team was not always recognized as the second (behind Russell's Celtics) greatest dynasty in basketball history.
Michael Jordan, a man who achieved personal stats unmatched by any player in NBA history, won 6 NBA titles, 5 NBA MVP awards, 6 Finals MVP awards, Rookie of the Year honors, Defensive Player of the Year honors, 14 all-star appearance, 10 all NBA first team appearances, 9 time defensive first team honors, 3 all-star game MVP awards, 2 Dunk contest championships, and now he will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.Jordan, nearly single handedly, made famous such globally branded products as Nike and Gatorade.Even in retirement, Jordan's endorsements of products such as Nike and Gatorade continues to ensure their profits. On the day of Jordan's first retirement, the NY Stock Exchange actually took a dip because of Jordan's effect on global business.I consider myself to be a somewhat astute NBA historian and yet I had to research all of Jordan's accolades online as to not forget any.Above all of his personal and team achievements, perhaps Jordans most admirable contributions to professional sports was his ability to face defeat, adversity, world fame, and tremendous success with grace, maturity, sportsmanlike conduct, and humility.I have been an avid basketball fan my entire life. Following the NBA and the Boston Celtics for 25 years, I have lived through the prime and retirements of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Bryan Lie. I have fond memories of Doctor J. and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's retirement tours. I have sad recollections of the demise of the Celtics organization in the post Larry Bird Era and I have gripping memories of the resurrection of the organization in 2008.I started writing about the NBA in April of 2009.
The media coverage of LeBron James' MVP announcement drove me to insanity. It particularly aggravated me that the media constantly made everything LeBron historic and legendary. For a player not yet to win a title, in my opinion, these comparison were insulting to the NBA legends that came before him.I published the LeBron article on my Facebook notes page and it received a great response. The comments were flooding in. At that point I thought, "maybe I have something here..."As soon as Michael Jordan entered the Twilight of his career (amazingly at age 30), the search for the next MJ began. Interestingly, it was coincident with Jordan first retirement, and the media were quick to anoint Anferne "Penny" Hardaway as the potential next Jordan. Penny Hardaway was almost the same height as Jordan, and had a similar body type, but it was mostly the fact that he was drafted on 3rd position, in a draft headed by a powerful interior in Chris Webber as the 1st pick, and a potential bust as second in Shawn Bradley, that set immediate comparison between Penny and Mike. Hardaway of course had little Mike in him, and his style actually was closer to Magic than it was to Jordan.From 1993, nearly every following draft will see the second coming of Michael Jordan; in 1994, it was grant Hill, who again was selected 3rd in the draft, and was very Marketable with his clean, well groomed image. In 1995, it was even closer, Jerry Stackhouse was the same height as Jordan (6 ft 6 in), played for the same college (North Carolina), played at the same position (Shooting Guard), and on top of it, he was also selected 3rd in his draft class. To add to the mysticism, some will also point that Jordan was selected one pick before his power forward teammate Sam Perkins, while Stackhouse was selected one pick before power forward teammate Rasheed Wallace. By all consideration, Stack should've been the next Jordan; unfortunately, despite some early promises, his game did not live up to the billing (he nevertheless had a very decent career). It also didn't help that Jordan returned to the game in March 1995, furthermore exposing Stackhouse as a "fraud" in carrying the MJ mantle.Michael Jordan went on to dominate the NBA again from 1995 to 1998, but it was already clear that at 32, he was playing his last years in the league, thus the anticipation of finding the future torch bearer. In 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired a young teenager by the name of Kobe Bryant, who leaped directly to the NBA from High school; while showing flashes of athleticism, he really did not get serious consideration in the discussion of the next Jordan; for sure Jordan was still firmly in control.