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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 11:36 am  |  56 responses

Video: Marcus Jordan at Nike Extravaganza

The Class 4A state champion and Son of Greatness.

Words by Justin Walsh

“I’m standing on a stage
Of fear and self-doubt
It’s a hollow play
But they’ll clap anyway”

That’s how it must feel, your blood like seeds from the tree of life. Your father, Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Your father, legend to the hardwood, coated in shine, laden with sweat, speckled with blood. Your father, the savior to our souls, our dreams have been wrought with the release over Ehlo. You play a bad game, possibly a dreadful one. You garner claps, you’re serenaded with the love of a father’s acts and therein lies the fork in the road — you can either ride the coattails of a father so mythical, act a shadow to his steps… Or you can forge a different path, shrug off the clichés and do work.

“With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’
With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am”

“Who am I?” One might ask in his position. We start with the basics. His airness was a murderous righty. Right hand dominance? Sod that, let’s give the world a lefty. Coming out of high school Air Jordan was a tremendous athlete, raw in fundamentals, but his wrists were coated with callous upon callous from a long relationship with the rims he met each day, his calves were simply the base for his perverse way of treating opponents — Shock & Awe. We wont bother with what’s already been done — let’s go the Will Ferrell route a la Step Brothers: “…Here to f*ck sh*t up.” Marcus’ game is nuanced with a grinding curl from a simple pick, a quick hesitation dribble and he’s gone to the rim — a high leaner off the glass, two points. He adds to his repertoire with moves, jumpers and footwork like a family setting up a game of Jenga. Soon enough, a defender will make a wrong move, pull the wrong block, and the entire game will come crashing down on the defender like an avalanche to a snowboarder. It was bound to happen, it was inevitable. The analysts simply leaned back in their fold outs, seated directly behind the table with all the computers and the score man and waited for for all hell to break loose.

“Fill up the gates but block the flow
Tilt back the head before they blow
Sit back again enjoy the show
My life’s a movie now”

His life is fodder for celluloid, calories for the bottomless pit of hunger so aptly named keyboards. He’s the son of Michael Jordan for god’s sake. It must be like a tedious cake walk in circles for him, marching to the beat of a record he’s probably heard ten too many times, hoping to win himself something, longing not to have to go back to his pops to do it for him with his wallet. It’s known that it used to bother him, probably similar to a kid poking you with a stick over and over again, waiting for confirmation that you’re still alive. But long ago he went through the five stages of being the son of the G.O.A.T. and accepted that it’s probably not realistic to think he would make it to the level that his father got to in this beautiful, ironic game. Hellbent on making it on his own accord, he went to work. He has faced many bumps along the way, similar to his older brother Jeffrey’s — Jeff had problems getting recruited, later became a walk on freshman on the team at Illinois. Marcus has had more offers (Toledo, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Butler, Davidson, Marquette and a few others), but recruiting analysts for the major names (Rivals, Scout, ESPN) are hesitant to bring praise to the young lefty. Their rationale is admirable, albeit unfair: nobody wants to over-hype the G.O.A.T’s offspring and set him up for failure.

“I don’t believe that anything is wrong
Close my eyes and I will be strong
By tomorrow I will have moved on
I don’t believe that anything is wrong”

Marcus isn’t the outcome of nepotism, he isn’t the product of a mass marketed hype machine, clothed in the rags and riches of outside interests. He wears the shoe of his surname, the shirt of his surname, and so on and so forth. Must be like two people tugging at opposite limbs, slowly tearing ligaments and dislocating joints — on one hand he’s embraced that he’s the son of the Omega of hoops. On the other hand, he strives to make a name for himself, if at all possible. Marcus or bust, if you will.

“Tick tock the clock is getting faster
Can’t sit back
And watch the world move backwards
He’s got to be moving forwards
He’s got to be moving faster”

At Whitney Young, Marcus made his name. He led his team to the state final this year. He did him, and by the end of the game, Waukegan was defeated, 69-66. Marcus Jordan fashioned himself some points, 19 in all, ending his HS basketball career with a title; somewhat reminiscent of another Jordan’s career ending title for the Bulls (Those Wizards’ years were a bad dream, we’ve since been awakened to find ourselves in the 90′s still), as a clutch performer. Marcus didn’t sink a jumper to end it. He sunk four shots from 15 feet, all worth 1 point apiece, in the final 0:26 of the game. Just like everything else in his life, the same, but different. And when the buzzer was sound, the title a lock… Among the fans clapping, screaming and chanting, was a 6-6 statuesque figure with rings clamped on his fingers, tears rolling down his face with pride for his son. The reporters asked Michael about it afterward — “Crying?” Jordan said, “I’m not crying. Not for me, anyway.”

“A rendezvous for the new revolutionist
This new revolution is
Whatever it is”

Just like the lyrics said, a rendezvous for the revolutionist. This revolution is whatever it is. Marcus is his own destiny, whatever it is.

Note: all lyrics from various songs by The Arcade Fire.

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Inspired work, Justin! Tell me where you think we’ll be playing next season again. You made the decision seem so simple.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s35kBpvxfsc&feature=related James the balla

    As much as it is great to have MJ as a father. Playin’ ball under his name. He will never live up to anything.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    thanks Ryne, and there are thoughts that he might go to your alma mater. He’s still undecided though.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    James, it’s kind of impossible to follow the GOAT. no matter WHAT he does, by comparison it’s nothing.

  • http://my.thescore.com/members/Anas-Ahmed/default.aspx Anas Ahmed

    Sick article Justin. This is the first full piece I’ve read on Marcus Jordon. Makes you think, is it a good or bad thing to be MJ’s son? I guess if you what it takes you’ll forge your own path. But it’s hard not to get sucked into the vacuum that is his Airness. You tell a great a story my man, very nice usage of the lyrics as a guide. Look forward to reading more of your work. For all those who read this, keep looking out for Justin Walsh, this man is going to be delivering hoop stories for years to come.

  • JoeMaMa

    Guaranteed he makes the NBA. For how long, who knows. But he’ll make it….he knows the work ethic, knows way the game is played, his dad has the connections, and he has all the motivation in the world.
    Jordan brothers, HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    hahah JoeMaMa was that last bit a redux on the Thundercats? HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    thanks Anas. I personally think being Jordan’s kid is like being a Kennedy.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Arek

    realllly nice justinn

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    appreciate it Arek

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    nice article, JUSTIN , i enjoy it pretty much

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    thanks Simon, hope you liked the video as well. Random comment, but because of JoeMaMa I’m watching Thundercats aha

  • JoeMaMa

    *snarf*

  • http://thestartingfive.net Michael Tillery

    This is peace Justin. I hope young Jordan can live up to your words. I’m pulling for him. If anything, he’ll have a helluva experience.

    Thunder…thunder…thundercats…man why you do that to me? I got old bones that crack. Especially after that crazy convo we had on facebook this morning.

  • michelle

    Justin,
    Very good read!

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com B. Long

    This is possibly the best thing I’ve ever read from you Justin, and that’s saying alot. Great work, big homie.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    marcus can be an excellent college point guard. He has size, range, speed. He’s not afraid to penetrate and, most of all, seems to have a natural feel for the game.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    Ryne, he’s also not a half bad person either- always a plus

    B. Long, thanks alot bro, always happy to have you checkin my ish

  • konweezy

    He’s nice, but his brother was a D II player at best, but since he has the Jordan name he sits for a decent Illinois squad

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    actually his brother had D1 offers and decided to walk on at Illinois. But I do understand your POV

  • konweezy

    oh really… what colleges where those

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    Valparaiso and Loyola. Those are both Division 1 programs.

  • konweezy

    yeah i know…Bruce Drewww

  • konweezy

    Bryce*

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    Mr. Drew is probably the only reasons most fans know of midmajor schools outside of Gonzaga. Them winning opened up all kinds of interest in smaller conferences by casual fans.

  • BostonBaller

    Nice piece…Marcus J says he likes the idea of being the son of a Legend and it doesn’t bother him about the expectations. I think I read that in SLAM….

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    BostonBaller- I’d think that by now you have to be over the bother of it. But it’s clear that earlier in his life it did bother him for obvious reasons

  • WhaHuh

    Lets hope being a Jordan kid is nothing like being a Kennedy because they all ended up dead trying to work in their fathers proffesion

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    WhaHuh, no doubt.

  • http://www.slamonline.com DeMarco Williams

    Well done, J-Dub. That piece had a remarkable flow to it. Remember that feeling. Do your best to bring that mindframe to the keyboard all of the time…

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi T

    Very nice, Justin. Keep it up, and best of luck to Junior Jordan.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    This sh*t is fire!!! Good work…..now just get your jump shot tight and you’d be dangerous.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    You know what’s fu*king weird too…….neither one of Mike’s kids plays a lick like him…..I mean even their J’s and sh*t are totally different looking. So strange…..your pop is the greatest player ever and you take nothing from his game? Just weird. I mean, I know they’re trying to not have that stigma….but sh*t….nothing?

  • Biz

    great read..being a J ain’t easy..keep it up marcus

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    E, they’re nothing like him physically and athletically. They don’t even look like him. Are we sure that Juanita wasn’t hitting the club scene in the Chi something fierce in the 80s? I’m just saying..

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    You knwo what’s stranger, Z….when they were little….they looked just like him. They’ve grown out of that. They look a hell of a lot more like his brother Larry now……oops.

  • https://twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Like Mike. Except nothing like him.

  • J.

    Eboy…after Kobe mimicked and stole everything, there probably wasn’t anything left for them to take.

  • http://www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/kristopherhollie Kristopher Hollie

    Great read Justin, and nice job with the rap lyrics being implemented as well. And thanks for the heads-up on Facebook lol.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE |

  • Young Chris MP3

    LMAO @ J’s 4:45 comment

  • Dwayne Charleston

    A fascinating read. While the writing did flow, I thought at times it was trying to hard. Anyway, overall good stuff.

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    eboy…THEY MAY NOT LOOK LIKE HIM out there…but a win looks just like a win on paper.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    I am the Marcus Jordan of recordin

  • ka

    very nice read. theres something to be said about great accompaniment to news rather than just breaking it, kudos. he plays like Gilbert but his face looks close to mike, the nose, brow n lips. its eerie actually, like seeing mike young all over again.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    thanks ka. some people tell me they don’t look alike, I say they look eerily similar, just lighter pigmentation. But who cares?

  • Mikey

    Very nice piece Justin! He’ll never be able to live up to his father play-wise but i’m sure he’ll be an even better citizen than his Airness was (MJ-too much gambling [trust me, i played with him in AC!] & never satisfied in life (in general) – see NBA Hall of Fame press conference from yesterday)…

  • K-LOCC

    Saw your comment on the yahoo article figured I’d check this out and boy am I glad I did. This piece is magnificent. Truly inspired and inspiring work.

  • POSSED2SK8

    James Tha Balla wouldnt even get a bucket on Lil” J. Stop Hating’ Its A Bad Look. WEENIE

  • Jordanpushedoff

    saw your comment on yahoo too, and checked out what you wrote. Great job. Very good read. Most links like that lose me half way through the story, but you kept me the whole time, and made me comment. Very well done.

  • bg

    interesting about mj’s son, but that was the worst piece of writing i’ve ever seen. i could not follow it at all. a jumbled mess. honestly.

  • Ronaldo

    Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan, just give him a brake & let him enjoy what he is doin.For sure he’ll make it to the NBA.And I cant wait to see him there.Keep it up Marcus, You may not be like your father’s move, but you can be like your fathers heart “the will to win the game”.

  • Blessed1

    Read like poetry. This man should not be expected to be like his father. He’s his own man! If the Lord made all of us alike, the world would be pretty boring.

  • Mike C

    Great article, you have a knack for words- that’s for sure.. It was good learning more about this respectable young man who isn’t getting a free pass to the best schools bc of his genes. I hope he does well at Central Florida- whether he winds up transfering to a major program later- or not.

  • Chris R

    This is like stating, pro surfer Kelly Slater’s son will never be as good as the 9x World Champion. Similarly, as long as Marcus plays the best he can for the love of the game he’s successful in my book, regardless of the pressure. I graduated from UCF and spent six years at that school, good choice for him.

  • mrsjones

    Great article. I feel old knowing that the Jordan kids have grown up. I think it is wonderful that he is making his own way. You characterized is journey poetically. I look forward to reading more of your work, Justin.

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