Michael Jordan was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts yesterday and he didn’t miss the opportunity to prove once again to anyone noticing that he can be a jerk. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
This wasn’t a Hall of Fame induction speech, but a bully tripping nerds with lunch trays in the school cafeteria. He had a responsibility to his standing in history, to players past and present, and he let everyone down. This was a night to leave behind the petty grievances and past slights – real and imagined. This was a night to be gracious, to be generous with praise and credit.
“M.J. was introduced as the greatest player ever and he’s still standing there trying to settle scores,” one Hall of Famer said privately later.
Jordan didn’t hurt his image with the NBA community, as much as he reminded them of it. “That’s who Michael is,” one high-ranking team executive said. “It wasn’t like he was out of character. There’s no one else who could’ve gotten away with what he did tonight. But it was Michael, and everyone just goes along.”
The World Wide Internet Web is full of people that will proclaim loudly that Michael Jordon is the greatest basketball player that has ever lived. I’m not one of those people. Though there’s no denying that Michael Jordon is an extremely gifted player, basketball is a team game. Players like Larry Bird and Magic Johnston played the game the way it should be played. They played basketball as a team game. They played basketball in a way that made their teammates better. Jordan never did.
Though Jordan is 3rd on the all time scoring list with 32,292 points, he’s 35th on the all time assists list with 5,633. As a guard, he should have racked up a lot more assists.
It’s a pity that Jordon’s incompetence as a basketball executive couldn’t somehow be factored into the Jordan legacy and perhaps even delay his Hall of Fame enshrinement. It could be argued that Jordan is being enshrined as a player and not as a basketball executive, but I would argue that one has to look at his entire basketball career. Pete Rose, the all time hit leader in Major League Baseball, will most likely never be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame because he bet on baseball not as a player, but when he was a manager. When people look at Jordan’s career, they only look at what he did on the court.
That’s too bad.