I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I know that during NBA Playoff time I find myself even more obsessed with the game of basketball than usual. Since Game 4 between the Heat and Pacers ended this morning [FYI: I'm Australian], I’ve managed to wedge myself between limbo and oblivion by spending the last 2+ hours trawling the depths of YouTube trying to get as much of a fix for the game as I can until the Spurs bring out the proverbial broom on the Clippers’ ass.
I came across a video that celebrates a period of time in which, next to the baseball stint, is one that many wish to forget when it comes to Michael Jordan. On the contrary to the consensus, I believe this is a period of time for Michael Jordan that should be celebrated. Sure, ending his career with that final shot over Russell and the Jazz in ’98 is something that even the greatest legacies throughout the entirety of human history aren’t able to muster; but his stint with the Wizards was exactly that: A reminder of reality. A reminder that the world isn’t all peaches, polka dots, cotton candy and cream. A bitter verity riddled with fragments of the beauty and poetic justice that we were all once much more accustomed to seeing.
This was Michael Jordan when mortality was establishing a strangle-hold on a player and career that once appeared to be immortal. Long after gravity was an afterthought, and dropping 40 points was second nature. This was Michael Jordan after the sands of time had washed away his knees and stricken his back; after the echo of the eternal clock-tick had wilted his athletic dominance down to zero.
But there’s beauty to be found in even the most unfamiliar of scenes. This was Michael Jordan at his essence. A near detrimental competetive desire (see what I did there!?) with an eternal understanding for the game that he once so ferociously dominated.
Carrying one of the worst units that a superstar has ever had the misfortune of carrying, Ground Jordan found himself experiencing fits of anger and frustration through the adversity he faced as he tried to drive these Washington teams to a playoff birth. So if you’re as obsessed with the game of basketball as I am at this time of the year, sit back and reminisce on the times when a one-time immortal attempted Mission Impossible. It wasn’t the story of success and brilliance that we’d come to expect, but in it’s own way, it was just as beautiful.
Bonus footage (younger years, massive facial dunks):
P.S: I’m back.