April 22, 2003

23: I was away last

23: I was away last week and missed Michael Jordan's final NBA game, so I thought I ought to say a few words now while it's still fresh in our minds. It doesn't feel right that Michael couldn't end his career in the playoffs, fighting for another championship, but then again, I've found myself referring to Jordan's career in the past tense quite often in the last two years. I'm not going to say the Wizards comeback was the wrong thing, since Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan, and if he wants to come back at age 38 to play for a mediocre team, he has a right to, just as he had a right to retire from the NBA at the height of his powers in order to become a low-level minor-league baseball player. Though I can say I'll always remember the Game 7 shot against Utah in 1998 as the final moment of Jordan's NBA career, second comeback notwithstanding.
There's not much I can say about Michael Jordan's career that wasn't already said in David Halberstam's brilliant biography "Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made," which I believe came out in '99; I recommend anyone read that if they're looking for the last word on our generation's premire athlete. All I can say otherwise is that I'm proud that I got to see Jordan play in person on two occasions, and that's something I look forward to telling my grandchildren about (the way your grandfather may have once seen Babe Ruth).
So now that Michael Jordan's finally retiring for good, can Michael Jackson go away too?

Posted by Stephen Silver at April 22, 2003 01:30 AM
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