Magic and Mike: A conversation between Jozen and Ernest
Ernest: You posted something on Facebook that kinda got under my skin this morning. What was that?
Jozen: That the older I get the more I hate Jordan. On the court, he was special, but I can’t believe I held him up as something more than a basketball player. As a human, he sucks.
Ernest: Is that because of his Hall of Fame speech? His bad wardrobe choices? You mentioned something about him and Magic Johnson…
Jozen: I actually thought the Hall of Fame speech was entertaining. But really, it’s that hindsight is 20/20, and for all that effort he put into becoming an icon and a role model, he has given very little back to the communities who idolized him and the game that made him famous post-career.
He’s not a great ambassador for the game, at least not as much as Magic Johnson is. He can’t praise the man who is currently the best basketball player on the planet because he feels like he’s a threat to his legacy. He can’t draft or procure talent that’s worth a damn and I believe that’s on purpose. Magic apologizes to Lakers fans when his team makes the playoffs as an 8th seed. Jordan laughs at Bobcat fans for buying tickets to what he knows is a God awful product. Jordan is still behind the greatest marketing machine in the world for the sake of selling sneakers to the hood. Magic brings businesses to the hood.
Both of these guys want to remain in the spotlight, but as far as I can see, only one of them is justifying their purpose.
E: That’s what it was! Ok. ill start with this: Why do we feel like Michael Jordan owes us anything? I loved Dominique Wilkins as a shorty, but whens the last time you saw him out here showing love to Kevin Durant? I think the Bobcats futility has more to do with hiring yes men more than it does placating Jordan’s ego. He’s a great player that is a terrible owner. History is littered with those. It doesn’t seem logical that he would have a basketball team that solely serves to be inferior. Hell, he coulda bought New Orleans in that case. It’s the same passion and intensity we praise dudes like Jordan for that we’re all deriding now. Why does he need to give LeBron public props? For all of his successes, you don’t think Jordan wants to keep his legacy as long as possible? Look at Bill Russell. Dude is legit the best hooper ever and nobody outside of Boston under 40 will cop to it. Not to mention that dude has a BILLION dollar brand to protect.
As for Magic, it’s a matter of personality. He’s the dude who comes in early to help you work on your shooting, Jordan is the one who comes and dunks on your sister. Neither one of them is wrong.
J: Michael Jordan wants the adulation, more than Dominique Wilkins ever did. Charles Barkley taking a stand to say he wasn’t a role model was a subliminal diss to Jordan, because Barkley knew he didn’t want the responsibility that comes with all that power. Meanwhile, Jordan wanted the power and has not handled it responsibly. He’s the type of guy who will tell a little kid who wants to be like him that they will never be as good as him.
You’re right about Jordan not needing to give LeBron his props, but Jordan doesn’t just not give LeBron props. This fool Jordan said LeBron can’t go left, that if you shut him down on the right side, he won’t be able to drive to the basket. WHAT HAPPENED THE OTHER NIGHT, ERNEST? And that’s kind of what I’m talking about, is that it’s not that Jordan doesn’t give him his props, it’s that he critiques him in a way that says, he isn’t as good as him.
You’re also right about what kind of person Magic is versus what kind of person Jordan is: Magic is a nicer guy, but it’s not just that he’s a nicer person, it’s what he’s done with his fame and success that you have to respect. I don’t think it’s wrong for me to want Jordan to be more like Magic, because unlike Jordan, who can’t seem to mutter one single sentence about the violence surrounding his shoes, Magic cares about people off the court.
I’m not saying Jordan was not as great of a player as I remember. I can’t unsee the incredible things he did. But if he still expects us to give a shoelace tip-sized damn about what he has to say, he’s been drinking too much spiked Gatorade. When history looks back on who meant more to the game and who meant more to the people who watched the game, I’m going to have to say Magic and then LeBron. Those guys care about people. Jordan cares about a person. Himself.
There are logical arguments on both ends of this discussion. I will defend Michael Jordan in this case because all of those “negative” personality traits are the reason he was so special as a player. Michael Jordan could not have existed any other way. He accomplished everything he accomplished because of who he is.
His DNA produced a surly, egotistical, selfish human being. It also produced the greatest competitor in sports history.