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Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  182 responses

At Long Last, MJ’s Comeback Fantasies Have Ended

by Marcel Mutoni

The inevitable took place yesterday, as Michael Jordan entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The GOAT wasn’t too excited, however, about dwelling on his past accomplishments. The man was too busy regretting the fact that he’s no longer an NBA player.

The Philly Inquirer has the quotes:

“This is kind of a love-hate thing for me,” Jordan said. “It’s a great compliment and great respect, but for me, I always wanted to be able to have you think that I could always go back and play the game of basketball. As long as you have that thought, you never know what can happen. You never know what my abilities can do.”

Is he talking comeback? “No, but I’d like for you to think that I am,” Jordan said. “So to me, the Hall of Fame is like, it’s over and done with. You can’t ever put a uniform back on. It’s the total end of your basketball career. It’s a great accomplishment and I know I don’t walk away from it, but I didn’t want to be up here so quickly.

“I wanted to be up here when I was 70 years old, 80 years old. But I’m 45 and I still think I can play. You guys don’t know if I can or can’t, but at least I’ve got you thinking that way.”

I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that Jordan has finally realized that playing hoops at the pro level is no longer an option, and certainly something no one would want to see.

Thanks for the memories, Mike.

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

    I’d bet in 15 minutes a game, off the bench…..he’d still be better than 98% of the bench players currently in the league.

  • Ritchie

    ….

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

    But hasn’t he been gone for the last 5 years as it was? It’s not like anyone thought he was going to try again.

  • http://www.dakotasioux.net DakotaSioux

    I knew he’ll return someday.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    I really thought that Jordan was going to rip off his suit and be wearing a Charlotte Bobcats jersey and start balling out of his mind. He could probably still dunk over Yao Ming.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    that quote by MJ doesn’t surprise me one bit. He might one of the few players in basketball history ever being disappointed with going into the HoF so soon.

  • CHE

    What Jordan has couldn’t be taught. He was born to play the game of basketball. Some people have that killer instinct some don’t. His game was Jeffrey Dahmer like.

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

    I think it’s just the feeling of his “immoratality” as a player being taken away….like having the casket closed when you still have a faint pulse.

  • http://www.basketballjerseyworld.com NBA-JERSEY-KING

    I’d like to see MJ coach an NBA team one day… I guess trainings would be quite intense…

  • CHE

    Jordan isn’t a great coach or general manager. Alot of NBA players try to make that transition and horribly fail, Isaiah Thomas, Magic Johnson ect

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    The Game of Basketball. Always “the game of basketball.” Dude’s brain and vocal chords are trained such that he literally cannot form and utter the word “game” without immediately saying “of basketball.” I envision dinner conversations with his sons…
    Marcus: Yo, Jeff, you hear that new Game joint?
    Jeffrey: Yeah. I don’t know if I’m feeling it tho.
    Michael (walks in wearing Hanes, picks up box of Wheaties, pours Gatorade into bowl…): What you boys talking about?
    Marcus: The new Game-
    Michael: of basketball.
    Marcus: Huh? Oh, uh, no dad, I’m talking about the rapper, from L.A., Game.
    Michael: of basketball.
    Jeffrey: Dad. No. Just “The Game.”
    Michael: of basketball.
    Marcus: Pops, you’re crazy.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I mean, it’s THAT dude. Did people really think that he would stop being pathologically competitive in his 40s? Hell no! He prolly thinks he could still be an all star if he trained all summer to get back in shape. The hops are long gone but I could see him wheelin and dealin for a fade away J on the left block until he’s 60!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Yes, Mike eats Wheaties and Gatorade for dinner. Obviously.

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

    Ryan’s just upset that Lebron’s still got 11 years to go before he’s 45 and talking about his dissapointment with his impending Hall Of Fame vote.

  • http://lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    Well said EBoy.

  • CHE

    Lebron is a great player and probably will pass all of Jordans individual records BUT will never mean what Jordan meant to the game. Lebron actually got a headstart by coming straight out of highschool. If Jordan started at 18 I am sure he would maintain all of his records even over Kobe. Besides Kobe and his 80plus

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Mike can say whatever he wants. Like Cliff Clavin said in the first post, Mike’s probably still better than 98% of the NBA’s current bench mob (during a 15 min stretch).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I’m VERY disappointed it took 13 comments to bring up LeBron and Kobe in a post that had nothing remotely to do with either of them. You people are slacking.

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    Is there a law that prohibits playing professional basketball after your induction into the hall of fame? no? Jordan should totally become the first Hall of Famer with an active NBA contract

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    He is the GOAT, but I think yall are underrating the effects of age. He’s 45. Only big men, who don’t need to be mobile, can exist in the pro game past age 40. (I’m thinking Robert Parish and Dikembe Mutombo. Anyone else?) Jordan could almost certainly get a couple buckets a night off the bench, but do y’all seriously think he could defend NBA SGs/SFs?

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

    ciolkstar:No,I don’t think Eboy even believes it.

  • John D

    MJ’s 46, not 45. When you’re that age I guess you just round down.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Ciolkstar; have you seen Wally Sexyback defend? MJ could at least be as mobile and I guarantee you a better defender, even at 45. Plus they allow zone now, it would be easier to hide in that defensive setting.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Ups my bad 46.

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

    No…..he couldn’t defend top flight guys…..but I know for a fact he wouldn’t be much worse at defending than 5 players on the current Heat’s bench roster.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    What Clavin said.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    He’d also miss 40 games a year because of his knees. We’re not seriously having this conversation, are we?

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

    MJ@45:”I should get this when I’m 75″
    MJ@75:”I should have got this when I was 45″.

  • EC

    He can pull a barry bonds and play everyother game. Use him in clutch situations on inbound passes run him off multiple screens, robert horry made a career out of it

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Yeah, have y’all seen Jordan’s jowls lately?
    The fact that he has jowls is proof that he is never coming back. Ever.

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

    Um, E: In 11 years, Bron would be 35, not 45.

  • nate james

    he wouldnt last, he could be like a older shaq and play everyother game, sit a game on back to back nights.
    something like that.

  • John D

    Tad, I think he was joking. Like how Greg Oden only has about 5 more years til he’s 45.

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

    Jesus TAD, you missed THAT? Ugh.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    MJ we love you but dude, no one except the guys in Greece and the nation of China still thought that you could play at an MJ level. No doubt you got game but the miles on your 45yr old frame can’t handle the NBA.

  • Rome

    why wont he (may my spit be upon him) go play international ball. He could get on a roster as a publicity stunt at best, probably still avg. no lees than 10ppg.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    I wont seriously get into this discussion, as he’s not coming back. But when Mike could average 20 ppg. playing 37 mpg. in all 82 games back in ´02-´03, I’m pretty sure he could get 8 ppg in 15 minutes a game (sitting out back-to-backs)next season if he trained intensly over the summer.

  • https://twitter.com/Neuronautuk mat smith

    Born to play, this shows how strong that desire was, and still is, made me smile….

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    TAD
    I’m disappointed you inability to get Eboy’s joke.
    You are confined to idiot corner. Say hi to Jukai…
    Hi Jukai.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    The way defense is now? Mj could probably still drop 16 and 5 on dudes. I know some 45 year old dudes that are in f*cking shape.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Stay out of my corner, TAD!!!!

  • TruePG

    It’s not that guards over the age of 40 can’t still play…I’m pretty sure that John Stockton played into his 40s…and we know MJ changed his uber-athletic into a very cerebral approach late in his career, so I don’t doubt that he theoretically “could” comeback AGAIN. But there’s those knees of his…even the greatest can’t overcome all that fluid. It would have really been fun to see him playing healthy when he was with the Wizards,,,even at the advanced age!

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

    Sorry, other sh*t on the brain.

  • matt

    jordan and malone could still play if they wanted

  • ole dirty marmot

    Yeah,but f*cking shape and basketball shape are two different things.You still need a solid core though…

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    What are they gonna do if he comes back again, kick him out of the Hall of Fame? It’s not them Mike, it’s you.

  • vonkers

    MJ…best ever. Give me a draft of all the NBA players of all time and I’d pick him #1. If ANYONE thinks LeBroom is better just watch some tape of MJ. He played when there were rules made to make the game harder for him because he was so great, in the 80′s and 90′s where people threw him on the ground and weren’t afraid of getting ejected.

    LeBroom on the other hand gets rules made to make things easier for him, and if he misses a shot a foul is automatically called because he must have been fouled if he missed. If players in the 80′s and 90′s played now they’d be getting flagrants left and right and foulding out all the time. MJ’s NBA and todays NBA are different. Stars like LBJ are catered to more than ever.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Someone needs to send him a highlight tape of Hakeem’s time with the Raptors.

  • Ange

    I think that was a stupid joke.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    How long do you think it’ll take for JJ Reddick to get into the Hall of Fame?

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens Borges

    at least david looked like he could suit up right now…

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    As big a Jordan fan as I was when he was in his prime, I’d love to see him come back now for a two-game stretch against the Lakers and Cavs and get busted up bad just so he (and we) could move on. I have no doubt that he’d have a few moves for the youngsters, but watching him try and check LeBron would be tremendously painful.

  • Coach Master

    MJ will continue to be the measuring stick for all aspiring basketball players for decades to come. No one comes close today.

  • riggs

    only hall jj reddick is going to know is when he listen to old hall and oats records

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    CoSign Russ on Hakeem, a big guy who still couldn’t do his thing past 40 because he couldn’t move around well enough. Seeing Jordan try to play in an NBA game today would be really depressing. Oh, and dRob will always be in phenomenol shape. I’m not saying he could make a comeback (esp with those late career back issues) but the man is just a remarkable physical specimen, and a great humanitarian to boot. I understand that DRob was never really a “SLAM-type” of player, but I’m not sure if he gets the credit he deserves as an all time great. Although being first ballot HOF is some measure of respect in itself.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Imagine if Dr. J had come back in 1996 and tried to check Penny Hardaway or Spree—or MJ. It would be something like that. I love and respect the all-timers, but at some point you have to let go and understand that it’s no longer your time.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Drob gets credit…
    For being Hakeem’s bottom b8tch…

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    @ciolk: We were pretty damn hard on David during his time—stapling that “soft” label to him anytime we could, especially after he got eviscerated by Hakeem. He paid the price for being a nice guy who couldn’t get it done when it mattered most. But time (and, um, Tim Duncan) have been very kind to him. If they don’t get that number-one pick in 1997, chances are good he’s Ewing II. Still a Hall of Famer, but a step below where he actually finished up.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    I don’t get why people always say “bet he couldn’t check *add super star name here*”
    I bet Jordan could absolutely SHUT DOWN Ime Udoka, and Kevin Ollie, and Juan Dixon and Sean
    Singletary! Jordan is not saying he could come back and break Kobe’s ankles. He’s saying he could still make an NBA team. He’s saying he can still play on an NBA level. And I happen to agree.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I don’t.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    MJ would get wrecked by Udoka, and prety much EVERY SINGLE other perimeter player in the league. NOBODY is challenging his greatness or the body of work, but the game has passed him by. There’s nothing wrong with that. The fact that he still feels like he could play reflects how ridiculous his competitive drive has always been. In a way, I wouldn’t expect J to say anything different on that subject.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    You’re right, because Alex Acker and Mardy Collins and Fred Jones are going to keep Jordan off the Clippers. Sure, I know I probably only think this because the dude is JORDAN and I haven’t really felt old in my life until I watched the dude accept his ceremonial hall of fame jersey… but five years ago, he was averaging 20 points a game. I don’t care if fluid was exploding out of his knee joints. That dude would still hit a fadeaway with anyone guarding him.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    MJ is 46 years old. He hasn’t played in an NBA game in over five years, and when he did, his knees were trash. He decimated the Wizards in order to average his 20-something points per game and keep his fantasy alive. Replace him with Rip Hamilton (who he dumped because he dared challenge him) and maybe that Wizards team makes the playoffs. Maybe he could still drop 20 on someone, but it’s long passed the point where I’d like to see him try. The thought of watching some defender lay off him because he’s Michael Jordan makes me cringe—maybe even moreso than the thought of someone bodying him up because he doesn’t care who he used to be.

  • http://www.alloutblitz.com cordeazy

    we need an NBA seniors tour pronto!…actually, probablly not.

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

    Russ is easily the most disgruntled MJ fan, ever.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    The romantic thought is that Oscar Robertson could go out there RIGHT NOW and rack up a triple-double, or that Bill Russell could go out and show Dwight Howard a thing or two. The reality is that even recent all-NBAers like Kevin Garnett and Tracy McGrady are getting old and can’t do what they used to. Time marches on, and eventually we all fall by the wayside.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Right Eboy, I’m sorry: MJ could go out there RIGHT NOW and average 20 against ANYONE. I should totally ignore his injury history and his age and his sedentary cigar-smoking lifestyle and stay living in the past. God forbid I be realistic.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Gary Sheffield and Ken Griffey, Jr. are gonna hit 50 homers this year!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Russ is so right (and Jukai is so wrong) its not even funny. Jordan may have averaged 20 with the Wiz that season (FIVE YEARS AGO! Juks acts as if it was 5 months ago), but his game was very rarely pretty, and consistently forced. I’d have absolutely no intersst in watching J try to play in an NBA game. As Russ aluded to, it would just be depressing.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Is it possible to burn the internet?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Fearless prediction: MJ is gloating over some out-of-shape accountant on “Pros Vs. Joes” within the next five years.

  • Michael

    Didn’t Kobe drop 55 in three quarters on Jordan the Last time they played. Lebron might actualy paralize the dude.

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

    No Russ….he shouldn’t and wouldn’t…I kind of thought this comment section was based in fantasy. But, you seem to take shots at the dude, for someone who is a staunch Bulls supporter and supposed Jordan fan, just to try and take his legacy down 5 or 6 notches whenever the topic presents itself. Forgive me if this is off kilter, but I would imagine that Michael and AI (another guy that get’s the Bengston dagger now)were the two guys that allowed you two things (1 to make your name as a fantastic writer in the basketball world through SLAM and 2)and allowed some form of a paycheck to come your way for writing about them in a magazine that basically was supported early on by both of those guys careers. If I’m mistaken, I apologize. And I don’t think you should be suckling at the teet of either one. And, for someone that hates to hear the insults rained down on other guys (almost daily) you seem to do the same when you feel the need to.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Russ, I understand that you DON’T want to see MJ in league ever again and, quite frankly, neither do I. He could absolutely make the bench of every single nba team tho. Is he less mobile than Sam Cassell was last year? Ultimately, it’s kinda selfish to want superstars to stay out of the game (even if I do it all the time, I wanted to cry when I saw Dream with his knee pads in T.O.). I mean, if someone wants to play ball, who am I to tell him not to? It’s up to the coaches to make the decision of not taking him. We, as fans, get caught up in the whole legacy thing. But ultimately MJ’s legacy belongs to MJ and he can do whatever he wants to with it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    *Cant find any matches*

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

    I’d say this….if Michael got into SOME form of basketball shape and tried his damndest to make it….he could probably get 8pts a game in 15 minutes. That’s just an assumption.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    How am I trying to “take his legacy down”? I’ve always said (and will always say) that Michael Jordan was the best basketball player ever (and is far and away the best player I’ve ever seen). I’m not sure how saying I don’t think he could play (let alone star) in the NBA at 46 after a five-year layoff somehow translates into my disrespecting his entire body of work. Thanks for the backhanded compliment, I guess.

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

    Myles, I can e-mail you a lighter.

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

    c’mon guys, he’s JORDAN the GOAT, lets let the fantasies stay where it has to be. I don’t care if he’s 46 or 75, he’s still JORDAN … ain’t Lebrooom kinda SH*T

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

    There was no backhanded compliment…nor disrespect meant, Russ. It was a simple observation.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    And mind you that MJ only said that he’d like to still be playing the game. In the NBA. I can only imagine that it’s such a thrill to play the game that you love in front of such an audience that everything else would pale in comparison. He dedicated his life to baskebtall, it it so wrong that he would be delighted to still be playing? Sports careers, unlike any other careers, end very soon in one’s life even if you’re a star.

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

    MJ ain’t killing any comp outside of the Y or the golf course, period.

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

    I’d also like to compliment Marcel for putting this topic up on a day with nothing to report gmae wise from the lig last night so that comments would accumulate.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Saying that Michael Jeffrey Jordan cant still play in the NBA at an effective level isnt a sign of disrespect. Saying that Michael Jeffrey Jordan could still play at an effective level in the NBA is a sign of disrespect. To the actual quality of play in the NBA.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    You’d have to define effective. Was Robert Horry effective the last few years? Sam Cassell? PJ Brown in Boston? That’s the kind of role he would be playing on a contender. 10-15 minutes a night in the playoffs and some key plays. He wouldn’t be an allstar (although I’m sure that he’d say quite the contrary, pathological competitiveness never goes away) but he could contribute. I think.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Like a bad remade Hollywood movie, he should come back and bring Rodman with him.

  • vmcb

    MJ should just return to the world of professional baseball. He’s not in the Baseball Hall of Fame yet!

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

    @Z, i don’t think Jordan could accept the bench role…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Jumpshots dont go away no matter how old you are, but hed struggle to score 10 or 12 PPG. How many shots would he have to put up to score that much? What would his FG% look like? And his lateral movement must be practically nonexistent. I cant imagine anyone having any trouble getting around him. His fundamentals are as strong as anyones have ever been, but his athleticism-or lack thereof-would be a real problem.

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

    Myles is spot on….as kind of usual.

  • Cizzo

    Jordan it’s over just like those wack ass kicks you keep droppin your game is only as good as your lst pair of kicks it’s over!!!

  • Chris Ujma

    Allen Iverson is rolling over in his grave

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Didn’t I admit that I was only saying Jordan could make an NBA team cause he’s ‘Jordan’? What the hell are you guys trying to prove here? YES OKAY Jordan would get burned by even the lowest garbage time rookie! Great! Thanks! We’re all educated!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    If youre only as good as your last pair of kicks, Jordan shouldve retired in 96, Shaq shouldve been kicked out of the league in 94 and Bron should be a janitor at the Q instead of playing in it.

  • Static

    “You guys don’t know if I can or can’t, but at least I’ve got you thinking that way.”
    If John Wooden can still make commercials, anything is possible

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Static beat me to it.
    Here’s the quote:
    “You guys don’t know if I can or can’t, but at least I’ve got you thinking that way.”
    Repeat that a billion times.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Isnt that the point? We DO know.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Yeah, Myles, you got the inside. You seem to know EXACTLY how athletic Jordan is, exactly how mobile he is, how much he’s been keeping in shape, and how much he hasn’t. Your knowledge is incredible! How DO you do it?

  • Wendall Timberlake

    GOAT

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    There’s nobody left in the League who was drafted before ’92. One from ’92. Two from ’93 (if you count Lindsey Hunter). Three from ’94. Like Rasco once said, time waits for no man.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I can look at him and see hes gained about twenty pounds, I can acknowledge the toll his well known fondness for drinking and cigars must have taken on him, and I can remember how difficult things were for him five years ago. However, if none of that works, I can just try and get you to acknowledge the fact that on a regular basis you say that Kobe has lost a step, doesnt go to the hole anymore and relies too much on his jumper. Michael Jordan is 15 years older than Kobe. Its about as close I can come to ‘knowing’ something without actually ‘knowing’ it. Seriously, Id rather deabte if Santa Claus actually exists. Of course if he does, Im sure hed average a double double. But the Easter Bunny would cross his ass up something awful. *Goes looking for matches again*

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Mj = julio franco.

  • Orlando Green

    Ryan Jones you crack me up!! GJ

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    That’s it though! No one wants an argument! Everyone just wants to hear “of COURSE Jordan could come back and school the hell out of some young buck like Nick Young!” If I have to pretext every single one of my comments in here with “WARNING: I’m only saying this because Jordan is my hero and he can’t do anything wrong in my mind and if he thinks he can play on an NBA level I’m not going to even think about it logically because it’s Michael Jordan!” so you will be happy and stop stomping on the greatest basketball player to ever be put on this planet, I’ll damn well do it.
    BTW: I’m going to have to note you seem to read my posts very closely, judging from that Kobe comment.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Go back and read Eboy’s fantasy comment if you have anymore questions. G’day sirs.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Nah for real though I think the guy could be a bench guy score a few points against some low level guys but who wants to see that? The debate about whether he could is silly, its micheal jordan he can still actually play the game for how long and in what role could he accept is up for discussion but having the actual ability to play in the nba isn’t a question to me.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    It’s embarrassing how unsurprising it is that this thread has gone on as long as it has.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    If KG can’t make it back healthy for the playoffs, the Cs should activate Russ and try and get him one for his Alfonseca.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Its a safe assumption that Mj was practically everyones hero as far as basketball goes, but facts are facts and I dont think its ‘stomping on him’ to accept that time catches up to us all. And lets be honest, if were both here on a daily basis and the same sh*t continually arises, how close do I have to pay attention to remember what you say?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    And wait, JJ Redick’s not in the Hall of Fame yet? What are they waiting for?

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

    LMAO @ Myles 2:13 comment.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Ryan, what do you look for in the comments section? No, serious. I find it incredibly condescending of you to act like such a thing can not be discussed. I happen to believe that MJ would make the bench of every team in the league right now based on his skills and basket IQ alone. He didn’t say that he was still an allstar (although he might believe so) and nobody else said that either. I find it intelectually dishonest from Russ and Myles to argue that MJ wouldn’t kill the league when everybody is already acknowledging that. Do you guys really believe that he could not PLAY in the L right now. As in not good enough to make a roster?

  • JM

    some of you here on this blog has no respect at all, MJ is greatest and best of basketball player of all times. MARK this on our history of basketball. I dont think anyone can replace MJ’s abilities.

    keep that respect period!

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

    Z: I’m not them guys but no, I don’t think MJ, at 46, could make a roster in the NBA at this point.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Jukai is so full of sh!t.

  • Shane

    DUDES>>>>>>>>>>>you are all sick

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Dikembe is like 63 right?

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    I find it weird that so many people feel like they need to say something about respecting MJ’s legacy and all that stuff… he’s freaking Micheal Jordan.. that sort of thing goes without saying.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Hi Z. I’ve never really broken it down, but I guess I look for comment threads that a) entertain and b) avoid blatant stupidity.
    I’ll also point out that, while our opinions are certainly NOT infallible, it’s maybe worth noting that Russ, Myles, and I — all of whom have and to some extent still do cover professional basketball and have attended, combined, something like 1,000 NBA games over the past 12 or so years — totally agree on this. We’re, like, professionals. We might have an idea what the f*ck we’re talking about.
    Could Jordan theoretically spend the next four months eating right and working out with Grover and not drinking or smoking and somehow even mock the passage of time and nature itself by not having his knees implode and be “good” enough to make an opening-day roster for next season? Theoretically, sure, though mostly because he’s Jordan — NO other 46 year old on the planet could get away with it, and if he did, it would be largely because some owner wanted the increased gate.
    Then, might he — again, assuming he was in the best possible shape and somehow his knees didn’t crumble to dust, leaving him to walk around on stumps that the folks in Beaverton would no doubt figure out a way to put some cool-@ss sneakers on — be able to play 15 pretty good minutes a night, depending on matchups and the defensive abilities of his teammates and of course skipping back to backs? Sure, theoretically.
    But he COULD NOT come back and be a good NBA player with any regularity. COULD F*CKING NOT. With everything we know about Mike and his history and his body and his age, it is simply not possible.
    You can disagree with that, and you can be offended that Russ, Myles and I are all equally convinced of it and look down on your intellect for believing otherwise (which we don’t, actually, though you seem to think we do). I’m not saying everyone who disagrees with us is stupid, only that you’re probably caught up in the Jordaness of it all. It happens. As I’ve stated here many times, I was largely immune to the Jordan sh*t, because I was a Laker fan and would’ve picked Magic first in any all-time pick-up game ever (and probably still would). Russ, of course, is a Jordan fanatic — and yet, again, we totally agree on this one. Myles and I are incapable fo seeing remotely eye-to-eye in the Kobe-Bron debate, but again, we totally agree here.
    You’re free to disagree. You’re free to be of the opinion that a fat, chain-cigar-smoking, 46-year-old MJ who had bad knees five years ago could play in the League right now. I’m free to think that your opinion, and any pseudo-serious discussion of that possibility, is absurd. Don’t take it personal.

  • Keith

    you cant take Jordans comments literally and if you are youre definitely missing his point. He knows he’s the greatest and he knows in his prime and even after his prime, he could compete and in many cases “school” todays NBA superstars. Now its all about whats in his head..he still has a great basketball mind even though his body IS 46, when he watches a game he still sees where he could do some damage to the opposition. Hes not coming back and hes not thinking about coming back. Its all about ego..and wanting to stop or slow down the clock.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Look, no matter how much logic you put into this Ryan, you’re still wrong. And always will be.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    I thought that the sarcasm was high by the professionals, but their point was incredibly valid.
    46-year olds do not play in the NBA. Ever.
    46-year olds who haven’t played ball in five years and like to smoke, drink and gamble all night, have even less of a shot.
    It should not have been an extended discussion. It wasn’t plausible. MJ barely made it through his last comeback, and he’s put on more weight and gotten older since then. Y’all were tripping.
    However, in regards to the professional comment, Sam Smith and Rick Reilly are professionals.
    So there you have it…

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Did anyone see Dominique Wilkins in the celeb game at all-star weekend? Yikes…

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Allenp, Ryan. It IS theorical. I didn’t say that it was likely that he would come back or that he would even be good. Merely that he could hang. He ‘barely made it’ as a Wiz according to MJ’s standards. He was still puttin up 20. This discussion is all in good fun because we know this would never happen. I just thought it was really odd for you guys to be so adamant that he could never make a roster. Again, we disagree. I believe that a 46-year old, fat(ter) MJ with bad knees could still make a roster. Ain’t no love lost.

  • Michael

    Rick Reilly? Ha.

  • Jlalonde

    YOURE ALL A BUNCH OF TOOLS

  • OneStep

    I completely understand what MJ’s on about. I’m 42 and I’ve been through my somewhat lesser mortal career alongside the G.O.A.T. and have the same sense. I want people think that I still can but deep down I know that it’s over. From the other side of the ball seeing MJ in the Hall brings some sadness to me knowing that I’ll never see him play again. I hate getting old!

  • Kozmic

    MJ .. Allday .. Everyday .. off the bench ! Naaaah…

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

    Ryan’s so fu*king long winded. Dude we get it, you guys are superior…..none of us know anything. I’d take Chris Quinn and Adam Morrison ANY DAY over a not quite 50 MJ, for real.

  • Lance Cully

    Why does everybody care what he does?

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    For real Eboy, gimme Josh McRoberts over Michael Jordan right now!!!

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Everybody on here is pissy…
    You big babies…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I don’t think Jordan could do crap in the League right now.

  • Lee

    If Jordan really thought about coming back he would have needed to lose those extra pounds but
    I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes an attempt to play in the NBA after this season. Even if that means putting his HOF in jeapordy.
    What I cant understand is who the hell thinks 46 years old is even old.
    I constantly see 60 or 70 year old men run marathons and put up better times then 2/3 of the runners out there.
    Jordan might not play in the NBA but I bet you’ll see him playin ball over the summer and competeing against his 2 sons.

  • John D

    Jordan wouldn’t be able to play in the D League at this point. The WNBA, yeah.

  • http://powerfulpj@yahoo.com pjone

    jordan is jordan. he can still play. haven’t you guys learned anything? hasn’t he proven enough of you “haters” wrong? AGAIN……..JORDAN IS JORDAN!

  • http://powerfulpj@yahoo.com pjone

    and furthermore………………you all would watch.

  • http://powerfulpj@yahoo.com pjone

    and silently cheer…….while you pubicly pick apart the best player to ever not give a damn what naysayers (haters) thought or said.

  • that dude

    The unwavering loyalty to MJ I’ve read here is admirable. And a testament to NBA marketing in the early 90′s. Alot of us grew up worshipping the magic of NBA video, but try throw on “Michael Jordan: Come Fly With Me” today and you’ll cringe at just how shamelessly they built this guy up as a God. Peep the slow motion sequence at the end where this kid looks up lovingly at MJ as he’s signing his autograph, and you’d swear you accidentally inserted “Bible Stories Retold” into the VCR instead.

    MJ is the greatest and most important player the NBA has ever seen. But he’s just a man like anyone else. His comeback in ’02-’03 was not competitive at all, does anyone really think that 20ppg average was strictly his play and not because of who he was?

  • http://www.hibachi2.0.blogspot Money Bill Williams

    MJ is going to replace Vince as the starting 2 for the Nets next year

  • Harlem_World

    As everyone has said, yes, theoretically MJ could average 8ppg off the bench somewhere in the L – however, what nobody has mentioned is, averaging 8ppg as an ‘afterthought’ on a lottery bound roster is just not going to be acceptable for him. His mentality is that he will always believe he is the best. The gift and the curse. It’s what drove him to be the best there has ever been. Ultimately it will be what drives him to torment for the rest of his days. I do get a negative undertone from Russ comments though. Maybe could have explained your point a little better by simply saying “at 46 your body simply cannot do what it once could at 36″ without all the emotion. He is Mike, afterall…

  • Waylonakolipse

    Disappointed in going to the HOF early, Mike’s still a killer.

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    Even with five years out, at 46 years old, I definitely think he could play in the NBA. He’d be limited to 20-25 minutes a game, and his old as f.uck knees would probably keep him out of a few games, but I definitely think he could. Personally, I think his time with the Wizards is now significantly underrated. Russ made the argument that in his second season in DC, if you replace Mike with Rip, the Wizards could have made the playoffs that year. With all due respect, I strongly disagree with that. If Stackhouse hadn’t been injured so frequently that season, I’d say the Wizards might have been in the playoffs. If Mike never traded Rip for Stackhouse, I’d say the Wizards not only would’ve made the playoffs, but would have been a 6 seed in the East at worst that year. That would have been something beautiful to watch, in my opinion. I understand the majority of MJ’s fans wish he’d never come back after his stint with the Bulls, because of his perfect ending and all that, but I’m eternally grateful that he did. I was nine years old when he hung it up for the second time in ’98, and I’d only had about two years of closely watching him as a basketball fan –realizing what I was getting to see. I got to see his last game as a Bull, and was beyond amazed, but I felt like my Jordan experience was extremely short-lived. I regretted not watching every game he played from the time I was able to walk. I was in the 7th grade when he came back for the Wizards, and for those 2 seasons, I watched every game I possibly could. He was nothing short of incredible. Yes, I remember when he broke his streak of some ungodly amount of games with double digit scoring with his 6 point performance, but I also remember him scoring 51 in the game right after that. I think I even remember a couple 2 point performances where he’d have to leave the game early because of the knees, but the overall body of work over those two seasons more than made up for it to me. His fade away over Marion in the first overtime of his last All Star game still gives me chills when I think about it –and I still get pissed off when I think about the foul called on Jermaine O’Neal following Kobe’s airball right after that. I understand at the age of 46 and being out of the league for so long, he would be mountains away from being an All-Star, and likely wouldn’t even start for a team. But I would put a lot chips on a bet that he would still be able to play – and contribute, for any team, and I would love every second of it.

  • realosophy

    Typical Slam magazine, loved mj when he was on top, had him on the cover almost every month and then now they want to hate on him. slam writers make themselves look so dumb. bring back scoop jackson please.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    We aren’t hating.

  • ole dirty marmot

    The sheer fact that in his retirement,he’s been gobbling up fine white women 2 at a time should have no bearing on a hypothetical comeback attempt.Seriously,he knows it would never work,no athlete of his caliber doesn’t suffer from some degree of self -delusion.

  • chintao

    @ CHE Posted: Apr.7 at 10:10 am ==> More than his game was Jeffrey Dahmer-like. Jordan is a sales/marketing sociopath.

  • chintao

    Ooops. I posted before I read the thread completely. It appears that Ryan Jones Apr.7 at 10:23 am has rendered the above comment redundant. Thank you for going into that “game of basketball” thing. I thought my wife and I were the only ones who ever noticed/got sick of that isht.

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

    all i got to say is: saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaffffee. Although MJ at shooting guard would actually be a huge help. And i am being serious in saying that.

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

    I just found out that Ryan Jones and I agree on something, and that something is Magic Johnson.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    this comment section, like MJ himself, was magnificent. damn it was good! Farmer Jones and Myles cracked me up especially. i do see how some people thinks MJ can still play in the league, because hey, he is Jordan.
    good times!

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

    I just found out that Ryan Jones and B.Long agree on something, and that something is Magic Johnson.

  • chintao

    Also, I love how everyone is jumping all over Russ for trying to tarnish Jordan’s legacy.
    Note that Russ made no comments about what Jordan had accomplished in his career. He merely poked fun at Jordan’s inability to let the past stay where it is. In that way, it seems apparent that it actually is Jordan himself who seems to have no respect for his own vaunted legacy.

  • Bruno, RJ

    good comments on this post… it was really fun, but for me, i would still like to see him play.
    i don’t effin care if he would still be awesome, great, if he would be good average or poor…
    thats not the point.
    he is a myth. a real legend.
    old or not, he would have 15 mistakes, but the genious play would make it up for those…
    does anyone remember the 2 hand steal-block on mercer???

  • Bruno, RJ

    on the other hand… i would like that he preserved history and left basketball after “The Last Shot”…
    anyway… whatever he wants is good for me…
    i mean…he is god, disguised as a basketball player…

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    I’m of the thought here that Jordan would not be happy playing again…he would be getting ‘AI-off-the-bench-type-stats’ and would honestly think that he should be playing about 30 mins a game…. looking for his 8 pts a quarter still.

  • http://www.obviated.blogspot.com nick

    As a houston guy, I have to say Russ pretty ended this discussion with the “Hakeem in Toronto” comparison. It was depressing. Last year, Hakeem worked on post moves with Yao in an off-season-photo op, and watching the video, rockets fans immediately got excited. His footwork was immaculate. His form was still there. He looked lithe, strong, deceptive, quick. Immediately, rockets message boards erupted, much like this one has, with cries of “HAKEEM COULD STILL GIVE US 10 GOOD MINUTES!!” If someone like Dream wanted to, he probably could still go out and make a team just because of who he is. He would then procede to suck–miserably–leading to the destruction of my childhood image of him as a conquering hero, and likely to persistent depression culminating in the sacrilegious admission that he only won the chip because jordan quit. Then i’d kill myself. It’s best to let it go…

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Coming to a footlocker near you this summer, the NIKE AIR STUMPS. Design by Farmer Jones, implemented by Beaverton, inspired by a 46 year old Air “damnit, i had to miss a day on the links for this stupid induction?” Jordan. This was a fantastic comments section. Writers justifying, regulars snapping at their heels, and loads of respect for MJ allover. Very entertaining.

  • KD

    You guys need to let this go. Jordan is jordan he does what he wants he doesnt are what a bunch of people on a internet web page say. hes a millionarie, hes a HOF, and hes the best basketball player alive. Are any of you here that? i didnt think so, so get of his jock and praise the main for the innovations and popularity he has brought to the sport of basketball.

  • Crab Dribble

    Myles createth much hilarity.

    But Myles needeth apostrophe. tis bothersome

  • nbk

    The one thing all you silly people who think Michael could still contribute in an NBA game fail to realize is, NBA games don’t happen once a week in the same gym over and over again. Games are 1 game every 2 days, after horrible hours with little sleep and lots of traveling. A 46 year olds body reacts a lot different from being on a cross country plane trip then the effects to a 40 year old, let alone someone who is in their physical prime. And 10 minutes of running at an open gym pace is tiring for most 45 year old men, hence games lasting barely longer if that long at all, what would an NBA game do to a 46 year old gaurd? Ok back to your fantasies….which is all they are

  • ThomasP

    Jordan scored 24 points in the 1st quarter while never leaving the ground – at almost 39 years old. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCHkX8TaThU

    And all 24 points are off of good shooting and basketball smarts…2 things that Mike’s still got.

  • http://nba.com tealish

    Ahaha, it seems like every 5 months or so certain SLAM staff and certain regular commentors go at it over something ridiculous. It’s almost as if it’s a premeditated arrangement to blow off some pent up E-steam. It’s enjoyable because for the most part, both sides have valid claims.
    .
    Could MJ have his knees crumble the first game he comes back? Possibly.
    .
    Could MJ play an effective 10 mins off the bench for a number of teams? (effective meaning, for the typical NBA bench player forgetting the name on the back of the jersey) Also possible.
    .
    Neither scenario would happen, but in theory both could. How this argument became what it became is beyond me but it was most definitely funny to read.

  • larrylegend

    i bet, mj still wears a pair of carolina short under his suit….

  • Washtub

    Shaq is the only one left from the 92 draft?
    ok, NOW i feel old

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    I know this discussion is probably over, but i just wanna say that the REAL question should be: Will Jordan’s competitiveness someday kill him? No let me rephrase that: HOW is jordan’s competitiveness going to kill him? I’m rather convinced that he will someday day die trying to hold his breath longer than somebody else. Or something. Or maybe commit suicide because his son beat him in a game of 1-on-1.

  • Rob

    i am really disappointed this did not break the 200 comments mark.

  • Tuomas

    Late to the party, but Ryan’s 4.38 comment is so much along the lines I was thinking that it ain’t even funny. Sure, MJ could maybe make a roster and – if healthy even at that point – show a couple flashes of what used to be. Consistency, on the other hand, is out of the question. What is the f*cking point now of even trying to get back to game shape and come back? Many folks would probably drool (at first) about the possibility of seeing an aging ultra-competitive man still try to prove himself, and it sure would do wonders in terms of publicity, jersey sales etc. MJ competing against time would make grandiose, storybook Western-type headlines. Then, if and when his knees would go AWOL, it’d be just sad. Beyond sad, actually. Cue for reporters making tons of stories about his problems (competitiveness, gambling, failing to let go and so on). Sh*t, they were raving about his gambling troubles even before he’d retired once. Look, I get it, because of what he could potentially do for short stretches makes me think I want to see it too, if I leave it at just that. However, if I let myself think about the pretty much inevitable consequences just a little further it absolutely gives me the creeps.

  • Manumaniac

    Two words: THE BEST. Just like that. No man, no player will ever reach his level. He is more unique than the game itself.

  • Esco

    Lee Posted: Apr.7 at 6:38 pm
    What I cant understand is who the hell thinks 46 years old is even old.
    I constantly see 60 or 70 year old men run marathons and put up better times then 2/3 of the runners out there.
    ________________________
    Stupid comment. 46 isn’t old per se, but in basketball, it’s old as hell. And your marathon comment is also stupid. Basketball is a contact sport. Marathon running isn’t. Let’s see those same 60 or 70 year old men go up against LeBron driving with a head full of steam to the rim. In marathons you don’t have to defend and try to body up dudes 2 decades younger and way more athletic and stronger than you are. Come on, Jordan is the best ever and everything, but he would get killed. Knowing him, we would want to play against the top dogs and not some scrubs, and he would just get murdered out there. Right now, Jordan would look as human as they come. And it would hurt just watching it.

  • Tuomas

    Not to mention that when you run a marathon, you prepare (depending on your current shape) for maybe a few months, then get it over with in the course of one day. And that’s that. You don’t have to go through the biggest grind every week. It’d be complete waste of time to even start talking about all the other problems with the comparison.

  • http://www.ellisislandcasinobrewery.com EllisIslandCasinoBrewery

    The man, the player… the icon.

  • Dave

    I’m with OneStep. I can 100% tell you that jumpshots do stop falling when your knees go. If you actually play with people who guard you, that is.

  • Josh D(Spurs Fan)

    I wouldn’t put it past MJ to be past the standard of at least a few NBA players at the age of 45?

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Jordan could not last for an entire season. The NBA is a marathon not a sprint, and Jordan is no longer a marathon runner. He could definately contribute in a one-game scenario like say the all star game ala Magic Johnson in 92 but he could not last on an NBA roster for the rigours of a season.

  • Bruno, RJ

    whatever he wants is good for me…
    i mean…a guy that i really respect once said that he is god, disguised as a basketball player…
    .
    i guess age rules doens’t fully apply to a kind of god…

  • BALLA30

    How is this conversation still going on? MJ- IN HIS PRIME THE BEST EVER. Period.

  • http://slamonline.com Nw09

    Everyone’s fawning over LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade Beasleys and the Durants of the league because of what they’re doing NOW while they’re still in the young stages of their careers (except for Kobe).

    But Micheal Jordan consistently played like he was hungry all the way into his lae 30′s. To substain such passion, and extrodinary play late in you career IS HARD TO DO because that’s where wear and tear comes into play. All of these other guys people are fawning over may not be as dominant in their later years in the league like MJ was. I hate when people compare up and coming players or present players to MJ. He’s MJ he was far more dominant in hos era.

    Just like Tiger Woods is 33 and still playing like he’s 23.

    And please stop comparing Lbj to Mj his style of play is NOTHING like MJ’s just because he wears 23 too doesn’t mean anything, more like Karl Malone and Magic on steroids.

  • Manumaniac

    Good points Nw09 and BALLA30. As I always say: Michael Jordan is the BEST. Everybody else is the REST.

  • Rules are non applicable to me

    ThomasP got it right. 24 points without getting off the ground.

    20 points per game as a Wizard at 39.

    Yes he could still come back and score, but he could not come back and score and play off the bench because he is GOAT and would he listen or pass to Rip Hamilton in the 1st string if he had a better shot (baring in mind he will have limited minutes to score?). The answer to that is no.

    Yes he could play physically, though I would not pick him, but no he could not play mentally because he would damage any team unless he was really prepared to sacrifice his numbers for the team.

  • truthteller

    If MJ still wants to play ball he should organise big time pick up games where current nba players and street ballers are all invited to play. That should satisfy his competitive hunger. No?

  • Epsilon Nupe

    MJ would not have the speed to keep up with today’s game. While his basketball IQ is still there the physical skills are not. When he played in Washington he was playing off of IQ and even then his physical skills were diminishing. Why would one think that after 5 years of no kind of NBA basketball contact that MJ could come off the bench and make a contribution? He would be a liability on defense and a non factor on offense. He would be the smartest playing on the floor but its hard to be a factor when you cant run and jump.

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