His Airness in Winter

Jordan has—without necessarily realizing it himself—been reduced to a clown, a bloated, irascible figure with a fondness for paint-splattered denim.
Share |

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

It really came as no surprise when Michael Jordan chose supply-side brutality over athlete solidarity as a leader of the owners’ hardliner cabal in NBA lockout negotiations. As Jordan showed with 2009’s Hall of Fame speech, him being an asshole is more than some jock-ish twinge. Without it, not only would he never have been the player he was, he may not have been a professional athlete at all. 

Today’s stars may look up to him, but Jordan isn’t interested in being anyone’s mentor. He’s mostly concerned with making sure none of them approach his accomplishments. It takes a scripted video game ad to wrench any unilaterally polite comments out of him, even when his Jordan Brand—a Nike subsidiary that operates like warlord territory—writes many of them hefty checks. 

All things are not like basketball for him. Instead, Jordan is hard-wired to blandly totalize all the wonderful, or banal, activities his life has afforded him. Winning titles is certainly a more profound experience than playing cards, or hanging out in Vegas with Charles Oakley, but in all of these, the same contours emerge. To paraphrase the late Lamont Coleman, you know what he’s about. The Michael Jordan empire isn’t one measured in rings, dollars, or promotional opportunities, but in anecdotal slaughter.

Since retiring for the third time, Jordan has—without necessarily realizing it himself—been reduced to a clown, a bloated, irascible figure with a fondness for paint-splattered denim. The Jordan Brand is sustained by what MJ stood for, or wrought, as a player. His free-standing ventures have been laughable, including his embarrassing stint as Wizards GM and head-scratching tenure as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. No one really wanted to believe that Michael Jordan had come to this, that the consensus G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time—only Ali and Gretzky can claim a similar distinction) had turned out to be such a loser. And an ineffectual one at that: Jordan has been a buffoon, not in the least bit defiant or fiery. We missed the player, but it seemed as if his very soul had been sapped in the transfiguration. 

“He’s an owner now,” is the current line on Jordan, ratifying the belief that MJ has simply ported his on-court attitude over to this next phase of his professional life. With MJ, making others miserable precedes any particular activity; this sudden desire to throw his weight around as an owner is a personal breakthrough. 

When Jordan asserts himself as a hardline owner, in effect, he’s reclaiming his identity, effectively branding himself as the same MJ we always liked, or loathed—the spite and the grandeur are inseparable by now. He’s never going to excel at running basketball teams, but at very least he can stab at the enemy like in the old days. Irrelevance is far preferable to emasculation. Jordan has found his niche as the only owner capable of towing the hard line without coming off as a sniveling kook. 

If Dan Gilbert and Robert Sarver suffer for their efforts, Jordan is enhanced by them. The ruler is back. The past roars yet again. It’s a genius bit of marketing, a brilliant way to create the illusion of clout. Jordan can only leverage Jordan by accepting that he will never be anything more than that vessel for rage—at least, never again. His playing days, in this sense, were a happy accident. 

Yet there’s another dimension to Jordan’s newfound business swagger. In these labor negotiations, he finds himself in a position to directly face off against the entirety of today’s active players. Screwing over or insulting one of his employees hardly gives him his pick of opponents, or puts the league’s best at his disposal. As the owners’ self-appointed heavy, he’s not just finding his place among their ranks and, in the process, resolving the cognitive dissonance between past and present. Michael Jordan finally has a chance to take on all the would-be challengers to his legend. His peer group, in this case, isn’t the owners—it’s those players he continues to perceive as a threat. 

Granted, he can’t take them on the court any longer, but he’s put himself in a position to go toe-to-toe with them and do maximum damage to their well-being, their futures. Jordan was the first player to shape the league in his image, to demand ungodly sums of money. Let no one forget, or eclipse, that resume. Once a player, always a player. At least as long as that remains the source of his power. That legacy needs to always reign supreme; it’s the trump card that turns Jordan’s misanthropy into a higher purpose, forcing everyone to respect what’s basically a pathology. 

Jordan, though, isn’t calling the shots in these negotiations. He may have put himself out there, but he’s ultimately a puppet, an extremist indirectly serving the interests of bigger fish. It may be a symbolic coup for him, except that as this whole drama plays out and Jordan remains uncompromising and durable in this role, this second-class status raises some troubling questions. Gilbert or Sarver are natural born gadflies. Jordan is attempting to once again become respectable, if not respected. But at what price? 

An aimless, stormy man is the familiar fate of those who depend much on youth. The G.O.A.T. would never settle for being someone else’s battering ram, or willfully letting himself be lead into live fire. Jordan himself may have only pride, but for the rest of us, his legacy has dignity. If that starts to fall away, then basketball itself is the thing that suffers most. We want to feel that the man who brought the game to its highest level, whatever his motivations, can at least keep that career beyond reproach. Anger is one thing; but to think that there might have been an element of gullibility, even weakness, in this absolute showing of greatness, is a “say it ain’t so” moment. 

Jordan authored a career that rarely admitted vulnerability. This fall, he runs the risk of making us question its sincerity. When the G.O.A.T. can be mere goat, the sport, and the world, are rendered that much more unforgivably ordinary.


Share |

Comments

Hi I was searching for the blogs for many times, now I have reached at the right place.
online paday loan lenders only

When I searched the blogs suddenly I saw this one and when I read it, amazing stuff out there that compelled me to comment.
car insurance in colorado versus utah

I was getting bore since morning but as soon as I got this link & reached at this blog, I turned into fresh and also joyful too.www.jordanshoessupermarket.com

least he can stab at the enemy like in the old days. Irrelevance is far preferable to emasculation. Jordan has found his niche as the only owner capable of towing the hard line without coming off as a sniveling kook.
minecraft p.e gratuito |
free psn card codes

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. Infantigo

I’m eager to find the valuable information and for me this is the right place to get the good stuff.Mesothelioma Law Suits

Just saying thanks wouldn’t just be enough, for the fantastic fluency in your writing.Santa Monica Chiropractor

Your articles are very well written and unique.ATMS

If truth be told informative and valuable detail is here.Harry Georje Diamonds

This blog post is really great; the standard stuff of the post is genuinely amazing.about coffee

Really amazing blog!!! I enjoyed the complete article? enormous written.Active Back to Health

Thanks friends, for providing such enlightening data.xiaomi watch

This is really an excellent blog as well as its content.http://glwenergy.com/liberty-biogas-generator/

This is surely a very good blog, thanks a lot for sharing such nice information here.srqac.com

he can stab at the enemy like in the old days. Irrelevance is far preferable to emasculation. Jordan has found his niche as the only owner capable of towing the hard line without coming off as a sniveling kook.
youtube views |
youtube likes

It was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity. credit card

Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. Misfit Wearables products

This is really an excellent blog as well as its content.BlcLawCenter.com

I love this blog because it is user friendly with appreciative information. money off vouchers

It feels awe-inspiring to read such informative and distinctive articles on your websites.stainless steel chimney liner kit

Keep it up!! You have done the nice job having provided the latest information.Eben Pagan

Keep it up!! You have done the nice job having provided the latest information.Paul Dansker New York Attorney

Highly vigorous blog, I liked that much.Best Cooler Central

Your blogs and every other content are thus interesting and helpful it makes me return back again.http://www.bestspydercoknife

Your blogs are easily accessible and quite enlightening so keep doing the amazing work guys.lifeinsurancerates.com

I just read through your website up to a that i experience past experiences with the help of. Absolutely, you were best suited; dealing feel authentic at the covers only to find they land up in no way presenting nearly as good a good quality like they promise. how to make a club flyer

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...
denver seo company

Thanks for every other informative site. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m just now operating on. and I have been on the look out for such information.
PRINCESS CROWN

The homepage had a comprehensive video about the product. It took me someday to watch the online video and read text from the state site.
happywheelsgame123.online
cubefield.online
temple run 2
www.supersmashflash2.online
http://xdscarymazegame.com/
http://www.fireboyandwatergirl.co/

. Gilbert or Sarver are natural born gadflies. Jordan is attempting to once again become respectable, if not respected. But at what price
hack pixel gun 3d android |
cheat clash of clans android

I likewise profit from taking in the appraisals, however discover that alot of individuals should stay on article to attempt and include worth toward the real weblog discharge. คาสิโน

This one heart logo looks awesome as i would say. I really wanna appreciate the way it has been designed. Royal1688

I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wish you best of luck for all your best efforts. Excellent Web page, Carry on the good job. copywriter

This product will help you to learn secrets, tricks, and resources to sell the products. These strategies and techniques can be used by all those who want to earn money online. discoteche versilia

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! hcg

I 'd mention that most of us visitors are really endowed to exist in a fabulous place with very many wonderful individuals with very helpful things. hcg injections

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. mobile phone signal boosters

good initiative, hope that it would be a great success and we could finally reduce the energy consumption and hope to see a better cost effective future. regards บาคาร่า

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. gentle dentist ballarat

Nice one, there's truly some sensible points on this website a number of my readers might realize this useful; i have to send a link, several thanks. sign shop

I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog banner

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. mj plus

You have raised an important issue..Thanks for sharing..I would like to read more current affairs from this blog..keep posting.. Fire alarm Los Angeles

It's my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work. Water damage Los Angeles

Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trick? Have a great day! foundation repair los angeles

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!!!! buy virtual credit card

Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. trusted source for clomid australia

I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! Textbook free download

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article metodo do respeito

Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. https://www.organic-ese.com