Letting the "Air" out of the NBA
We all knew this day would eventually come, but that certainly makes the pill no easier to swallow. On January 13, Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan announced that he has decided to call it quits. And this time, it's for good.
Simply put, Jordan is the greatest basketball player in the history of the game. Oh, maybe you'll get some arguments to the contrary, especially out of Boston and Los Angeles, but no one has ever dominated his sport and taken our imaginations to new levels like "His Airness" has.
Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan, the nucleus that brought six NBA titles to Chicago, were officially broken up after the 1998 season with the departure of Jackson and the retirement of Jordan.
The NBA's marketing and public relations staff will be tossing and turning for the next several months, trying to develop a strategy to resuscitate their league which continues to be pounded with negative publicity following the lockout. Far too many fans had already expressed disdain, or even worse, apathy, towards the NBA. Celtic guard Kenny Anderson certainly didn't help matters last week by his "caught on camera" unceremonious blow off of a little boy in search of his autograph. You could almost hear commissioner David Stern cringing. And now, the final blow (we hope) — the loss of the league's greatest attraction.
On the bright side, the league should at least be a little more competitive without Jordan and the Bulls. The Houston Rockets and Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler reaped the rewards of Jordan's first retirement. Now with number 23 out of the league for good, maybe future hall of famers Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Karl Malone or Patrick Ewing can finally win the ultimate prize.