‘Sometimes I dream that he is me’
In praise of Michael Jordan
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:
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.