By: Julio Olmo
“…I saw the Eastern Conference Finals and we ( the Lakers ) knew Michael was going to bring it…and Boy! Did he bring it!”, Magic Johnson
Those were Magic Johnson’s exact words when asked about Michael Jordan’s first NBA Title run in 1991.
Magic smile and laugh the entire time that he was being interview. He personally knew how focus and how intense was the guy heading his way.
The Detroit Pistons and their Jordan Rules had been an obstacle for Michael Jordan for a couple of years, but MJ figured out how to beat the Jordan Rules and almost single handily got past the Detroit Pistons that year, it’s probably a personal highlight of Michael’s, in a career fill with highlights.
After winning the NBA Eastern Conference that year, winning the title was just a formality for the Chicago Bulls and Magic knew it. There was nothing that him or any of his teammates could do to stop him.
Michael Jordan was about to become the biggest sports star on the planet.
His compulsive obsession with winning would not allow him to settle for just that one title and he would end up winning a total of six.
Jordan would had most likely collected more, but he took time off from basketball to play baseball and honor the memory of his murdered father.
It did not matter who the Chicago Bulls put on the court with him…Bill Cartwight, Stacey King, John Paxson, Will Perdue or Steve Kerr.
Jordan would just simply put ’em all on his back and win another title.
It was such an unprecedented display of dominance on the basketball court…that still can’t be match today!
Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, among other greats, all tried in vain to stand on his way, but could not slow him down.
MJ was just unstoppable, even being physically ill could not derail his compulsive obsession with winning.
The Flu Game must be another one of his personal highlights.
Nike signed him to a shoe contract during his rookie year, but could not keep up with his fame and eventually Jordan had a parting of the ways with Nike and created his own brand, Jump Man 23.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson saved the NBA, but Michael Jordan put it on his back, like his Chicago Bull teammates, and launch it worldwide.
When all was said and done…
Michael Jordan walked into the Hall of Fame with six NBA titles, two Gold Medals and multiple regular season and playoff MVP awards.
His basketball career honors reads like an Ivy League resume.
It started with being selected as a McDonald’s All-America, going to a Division I Basketball Program in North Carolina, winning a NCAA Championship and also winning his first Olympic Gold for the United States in basketball as an amateur.
He set the bar so high that every basketball super star today still has a monstrous time getting even close to it, let alone going over it.
It’s a huge legacy for any NBA player to come even near yet! MJ set the bar even higher for the Jordan Family Tree.
One of his great grandchildren will have to grow up to be an Astronaut or President of the United States just to be considered as successful as Grandpa Mike!
I was able to see his son Marcus play basketball at the University of Central Florida a few times, but it must be brutal having everybody whispering;
“…That’s Michael Jordan’s son!”
Behind your back, constantly your whole life.
It’s no secret around NBA circles that MJ remained distant from the Chicago Bulls organization for a while because he disliked owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who among other things tried to replace him on the eyes of the Chicago Bulls’ fan base with overrated Toni Kukoc, showed the door to Head Coach Phil Jackson and dismantled his multiple championship team, which also held the NBA’s regular season record of 72 wins until recently.
Michael Jordan is the very definition of a living legend and all those banners hanging from the rafters in the Chicago Bulls’ arena are up there because of him.
There’s a statute of the man right in front of the building, but it feels very, very wrong that the greatest player in Chicago Bulls and NBA history at one point did not feel welcome in the House That He Built by the Chicago Bulls owner.
Yet MJ, ever the gentleman, has led bygones remain bygones.
Maybe Jerry Reinsdorf didn’t really appreciate all you did for the Chicago Bulls and the NBA, but we do Michael.
You still the GOAT, in my book, MJ!