Why the fuck should the ENTIRE NBA retire Michael Jordan's number?
Look, I like Michael Jordan probably a little bit more than most. I've spent more money on his merchandise than anything else I've shown an interest in. I saw "Space Jam." If I wasn't so damned lazy, I would have been arrested more than once for stalking, and if he decided to go gay and wanted a piece of me, I probably wouldn't turn him down. Yes, he can have my anal virginity just because he's the GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER I'VE EVER SEEN.
And even I think NBA shouldn't retire his number.
Michael Jordan's not some revolutionary, transformative figure. Not for anything that matters, anyway. Yeah, if you work in marketing, he and David Falk probably wrote the book on sports marketing in the modern age. Yeah, if you work at Nike, you owe MJ and MJ alone for continued employment. David Stern, shoe collectors, and let's not forget how we owe baggy shorts and bald heads to Michael Jordan.
But this is a guy who wouldn't even comment on rush hour traffic in Chicago because it was too controversial for his image. The man jumped really high and threw a ball in a hoop real good. He didn't change the fucking world. Other than his dad being murdered and having to deal with Juanita's lawyer, he's never had hardships during his career. He's never rescued anyone from a bear or caught a plane on his back. There are no stories about him getting spit on by racists on his way to the games. And unless I'm forgetting the time he gained acceptance for Earth Creatures in the Congress of Space Monsters, he wasn't breaking any barriers. He didn't open up any lunch counters or blaze any social trails. It's not his fault that he played in the 1980s, but he's not exactly Jackie Robinson.
In my mind, for Jordan to get his number retired everywhere, he needed to do something revolutionary besides driving the price up on sneakers. His number's already retired in two cities, one of which he didn't even play for. I'd probably support baseball retiring Fernando Valenzuela's number before I'd support this. A statement like THAT says that HISTORY is not going to allow you to forget this person. "He might not have been the greatest, but he's still a big deal." Jordan is never going to be forgotten, because the NBA's marketing machine won't allow it. And it's not because he's a great guy, it's because he fed his nuts to Patrick Ewing in the playoffs each year.
Besides, who's to say that Russell's 6 (THE FIRST BLACK COACH) or Wilt's 13 isn't worthy of leaguewide retirement? What about Magic's 32 or Bird's 33 (two numbers worn by about 40% of the league)? The NBA might not have been there for Jordan if not for Magic and Bird. Maybe if Jordan had died while he was at the peak of his powers. MAYBE.
LeBron beating the drum on this, because everyone thinks of Michael Jordan when they see 23 (except for the fact that LeBron himself has already worn it for seven years) is decent of him, but of course, that's a new jersey everyone has to go buy. Pretty shrewd idea, and he comes off smelling like a rose because he's giving props to Jordan. Kobe just looked like he wanted to get over on people.
Still, I don't see it happening. If it does, that's cool, too. I don't want anyone to think I'm upset about the prospect. I just think it's a bit much. I thought the NBA was done nuzzling his balls after his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.