‘Some­times I dream that he is me’

In praise of Michael Jor­dan

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer Ni­cholas Mercer is a reporter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. The first ever bas­ket­ball game he watched on tele­vi­sion pit­ted Jor­dan’s Chicago Bulls against Magic John­son’s Los An­ge­les Lak­ers. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at n

The Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is a cou­ple of weeks into its sea­son as of this writ­ing.

The likes of LeBron James, Rus­sell West­brook, Kobe Bryant and Tim Dun­can are back on the hard court. Th­ese four and the other great play­ers of the game are test­ing them­selves in the in­fant stages of the new sea­son.

The start of a new year is al­ways like the first day of school — ex­cept you’re ac­tu­ally look­ing for­ward to it start­ing. There is the ex­cite­ment of see­ing some of your favourites on the court again and you can’t wait to meet some of the new play­ers in the league.

There al­ways play­ers who come out of nowhere to have a big sea­son. New stars emerge while oth­ers flame out as the shot clock of their ca­reer ticks down to zero.

Play­ers like the afore­men­tioned Dun­can and Bryant, along with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, are all en­ter­ing the twi­light of their sto­ried ca­reers.

Fans can la­ment the start of a new sea­son. It brings back mem­o­ries of some of the all-time greats and what they did for the game.

And, one of those play­ers stands above the rest. Michael Jor­dan is the great­est bas­ket­ball player of all time.

All six-feet-six-inches of him can­not be touched in the his­tory of the sport.

Jor­dan changed the game of bas­ket­ball as we know it. There was never a player who com­bined his agility, size and speed with the mind of a bas­ket­ball ge­nius. Magic John­son broke the mold at the point guard po­si­tion, but he wasn’t Jor­dan. Nei­ther was Larry Bird.

There were other play­ers who had his phys­i­cal gifts at that time and since. Clyde Drexler and Vince Carter are two that come to mind.

How­ever, there are two things that Michael had that the oth­ers didn’t. He could think about the game like no other be­fore or af­ter him.

Jor­dan knew what his op­po­nents were go­ing to do be­fore they did

As great player go, Jor­dan had a killer in­stinct that was sec­ond to none. Just ask the Utah Jazz, Los An­ge­les Lak­ers, Cleve­land Cava­liers and just about ev­ery other team in the league.

When Jor­dan had his foot on your throat, he was push­ing it down un­til it was over. His will to win con­quered an in­cred­i­bly bad flu in 1996.

Jor­dan is just the great­est of all time. There are pre­tenders to the crown, but they don’t come close.

While you could say John­son and Bird saved the NBA in the 80s, it was Jor­dan that turned it into a global en­tity. Be­tween shoe deals, en­dorse­ments and just sheer de­sire, Jor­dan launched the league into the strato­sphere.

Why is Ga­torade the big­gest sports drink in the world?

They got Michael Jor­dan to en­dorse their prod­uct. Dis­ney used Jor­dan as a tem­plate for its Her­cules movie for cry­ing out loud. Herc get­ting all those deals in the an­i­mated fea­ture, in­clud­ing the shoes, are all based on Michael.

Heck, there’s a song named af­ter him. You’ve prob­a­bly heard about it.

“Some­times I dream that he is me … like Mike, if I could be like Mike.”

Hockey play­ers were not the only ath­letes to get back on the ice last month.

The fig­ure skat­ing sea­son be­gan in earnest the week­end of Oct. 24-25 as ath­letes trav­elled to Gan­der for the an­nual Re­becca Pack Friend­ship Skate.

The event is held an­nu­ally in hon­our of Re­becca Pack, a young skater who was a skater with the CBN Skat­ing Club.

The Con­cep­tion Bay North Skat­ing Club sent eight skaters to the com­pe­ti­tion be­ing held at the Gan­der Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. The CBNSC have tra­di­tion­ally fared well at the event and are usu­ally in the mix when it comes to fin­ish­ing at the top of their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions.

This year was no dif­fer­ent, as a num­ber of the skaters who went were podium.

In the se­nior bronze women divi­sion, Laura Keefe daz­zled the judges and earned a first place fin­ish.

Not to be out­done, Jaide Rus­sell brought home a sec­ond place fin­ish in the pre-ju­ve­nile women (un­der-11) com­pe­ti­tion.

Bri­anna Rus­sell fin­ished just out­side the top-3 of the STAR 5 girls (un­der-13) divi­sion with a fourth place fin­ish. Ju­lia Keefe grabbed the sixth place spot in the same divi­sion.

The fol­low­ing is a breakdown of the re­main­ing re­sults:

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or

near

the

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Con­cep­tion Bay North Skat­ing Club sent eight skaters to the Re­becca Pack Friend­ship Skate held at the Gan­der Com­mu­nity Cen­tre Oct. 24-25. The skaters who are: front (l-r) — Ju­lia Keefe, Chloe Sey­mour, Claire Mercer and Jaide Rus­sell; back — Natalie Mercer Danielle Mercer, Bri­anna Rus­sell and Laura Keefe.

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