Jordan HOF talk (or lack thereof) at Blogabull

Matt discusses his lack of interest (so to speak) in Jordan HOF talk:

But, as weird as it may sound coming from as much of a Bulls fan I am, it doesn't really translate into being a huge Michael Jordan fan. If I was a hardcore follower back when the Dynasty Bulls were getting good (as opposed to being already good) maybe I'd feel different. In fact, that probably has a ton to do with it.

But while it's nice to appreciate Bulls history and see Jordan's enshrinement raising that profile, he's not as much of a concern to me as any other former Bull. Which is to say I don't really care (Ben Gordon notwithstanding, of course!). He's also a former Washington Wizard, and a current pseudo-suit for the Bobcats. He currently has no real role in the Bulls. And though it was nice to see him show up for the Red Kerr tribute last season, it was also a bit weird: as if we were lucky to have him grace us with his presence, instead of an 'of course he'd be there!' feeling, like we would for any other Bulls legend.

I found this post interesting largely because I could have written the same thing myself.   I don't think I'm quite so hung up on Gordon as Matt is, though I wish he were back, but I'm simply not that into all things Jordan.

I think this comes down to several things.   First, I was somewhat of a bandwagon fan during the Bulls championship era.   I was actually a Lakers fan for the first three titles and only became a Bulls fan when Jordan retired and joined the White Sox (which at the time was the one team I had a true allegiance to).

When I went off to college in 94, my roommate was a die hard Bulls fan and indoctrinated me into all things Bulls, at which point I enjoyed the final three titles as a fan, but not an incredibly serious one.

My true love for the Bulls as a passion came when I purchased season tickets in 2002.  I've read countless books on the Jordan era, so I'm familiar with the history of the team, but the fact that Jordan was kind of a jerk tarnishes his reputation for me a bit.   Don't get me wrong, in some ways, I think him being kind of a jerk was required for him to pull everything out of his teammates and push them as hard as they were pushed.  The good cop, bad cop routine was played out perfectly between Jordan and Pippen.

So you'll have to excuse me for not being a huge Jordan fan.  If he had maintained a role with the team afterwards things might be different.   If he was part of ownership, the management team, a broadcaster, or anything else then he'd still be spreading the memories of his past glory.

However, as it stands, he came back as a player with the wizard and has looked ineffective as an executive for both the Wizards and Bobcats.   He's fame and ego won't allow him to take a minor role with an organization and his managerial work habits don't allow for a team to rely on him in a major role.

As much as I'd love to have Jordan in the fold with the Bulls somehow, I see no practical way that could ever happen.  I sure as hell don't want him as GM or Executive Vice President, and he's not going to take a position in community relations or the local broadcast booth.  

In the end, all we'll have of Michael are the memories from the dynasty era.  He won't play the ambassador role for the team that so many former Lakers or Celtics would do for theirs, and as such, my love for the man is somewhat limited and isn't growing.  I simply don't live in the past regardless of how glorious it was. 

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  • Wow! I'm somewhat amazed at both Matt and your feelings regarding MJ. It killed me to see him in a Wizards uniform and it kills me that he's no longer affiliated with the Bulls, but he still belongs to us.

    I'm about a year younger than you and grew up on the Southside. I've been living in or outside of NYC for the past 8 yrs but my love of Chicago sports (Bears, Bulls, White Sox, sometimes Blackhawks but NEVER the Cubs) is as strong now as it ever has been (getting DWade might just bring me home). And quite frankly, any conversation regarding Chicago sports history has to revolve around MJ. Being the greatest basketball player ever, arguably the biggest icon the sports world has ever seen and bringing one town 6 championships earns you that. I was a bigger Scottie Pippen fan but loved MJ too because he was the (real) king.

    For me, I'd began following the Bulls somewhere during the mid- to late-'80s so my passion runs deep. The NBA had so many great characters back then. Magic, Bird, Kareem, Hakeem, Barkley, Ewing, Isaih, Dominique, Karl. Every team had one, the list went on and on and we had the best. What solidified it for me were the epic playoff battles and heartbreaks. Especially having our season ended by the Pistons year after year. But having them finally break through in '91 was an emotional thrill for a 14 yr old.

    I graduated from 8th grade during the first championship. And aside for that year-and-a-half "break" (getting robbed in the '94 playoffs is still more painful than it should be) they didn't stop winning until I was a junior in college. So I guess it's easy to see why I would have such an attachment to MJ and the Bulls: we came of age together. Notwithstanding his incredible body of work (he really was God disguised as MJ), there simply was no Chicago Bulls without him. He simply was the most amazing basketball player EVER. And he was ours.

  • I can only attribute your feelings and those of the not even remotely friendly(NERF) bulls blogger to age(youth, you simply missed so much of the good part) and not being life long Chicago fans, and maybe somehow being a Sox fan.

    I left Chicago in 1986 at the age of 27 so I lived through everything with the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks starting with the 69 Cubs. I have never rooted for any other teams outside of Chicago, and I went to extraordinary lengths to watch nearly every Bulls game during the JOrdan years despite living in San Diego and there being no League Pass.

    The 85 Bears, and Jordan are the only 2 things that we as Chicagoans have to hang our hats on(sports wise).

    What made both teams special was living with the growing pains from day one, getting to know each team as it developed as well as all the agony that came before. For the Bears it began with drafting Payton, and finally grew into something with Ditka becoming Da Coach. For the Bulls it began the day we drafted Jordan, and continued with the growth of Pippen(who in my opinion would have remained an absolute unknown had he not played with Jordan) into the first 3 peat, and continued with the return of Jordan from retirement and the addition of Rodman and the second 3 peat.

    1984 was the first inkling of something good for the Bears and quite enjoyable in its own right. The Bears were damn good but not great after 85, so we almost didn't get to enjoy that year enough because it came upon us so fast and was over just as fast.

    It took the Bulls 7 years(after Jordan) to get to the top and then the retirement stunned us from our complascency allowing us to enjoy the second 3 peat as much or more than the first.

    I was a huge fan of the Dick Motta, Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier, Bob Love, Chet Walker, Tom Boerwinkle Bulls of the early 70's. Had Jordan not come along I don't know if I would still be a Bulls fan today. The Cubs have crushed my soul so many times that I can't get emotionally invested anymore(I was a bleacher beer vendor in 1984 while in grad school), although they almost got to me again in 2003.

    This years Bulls/Celtics series was the first time that I have felt anywhere near the passion that I felt since the Jordan years, and reminded me of the early Detroit struggles, excruciating, painfull, and somehow still glorious. I don't think that I would still be here if it weren't for Jordan.

    To not fully enjoy the other worldly specialness of the Jordan years, and of Jordan himself is just sad, if not necessarily wrong. It also makes me question the degree to which one is a true basketball fan if you can watch the greatest competitor ever, be a supposed fan of the team that he plays for and come away unmoved. I still get chills everytime that I watch tapes of the 85 Bears and the Jordan Bulls.(just role the soundtrack to "Nothing compares to you")

    Doug, your ambivalence makes some sense and is understandable given the fact that the Bulls were not your first love and you did not grow up in Chicago, or did you? Over the years I met many fans who grew up elsewhere(even great sports towns, Boston, Philly) who became converted Bulls fans because of Jordan and the City of Chicago, although the Boston guys can't get over the Larry Bird thing(they still think that he is the greater player). Some of these people become truly converted Chicago sports fans, some don't.

    As for the NERF BullsBlogger, his mind numbing singular obsession with Gordon(a mere pimple on the ass of basketball history) has turned his site into nothing more than a vipers pit of hateful Gordon loving loons, where dissenting opinion is simply not respected or tolerated(typical of virtually all liberal blogs regardless the topic). I read it much like a conservative reads the op-ed pages of the New York times, mainly, because like Everest, it is there, and secondly to get blood curling angry and then to get a good hearty laugh.

    For me, the NERF's take on Jordan is the final nail in the coffin that firmly establishes him as no more than a pimple of the ass of Chicago, and Bulls fans as well.

    And Finally, I must state in no uncertain terms that my feelings toward Jordan and the Jordan years are strictly based on his play as a basketball player. I really could care less about his exploits as a human being, as long as he was a regular American and decent citizen outside the game.

  • I would put Wilt in the conversation with Michael, but since he just couldn't win the way that Michael did, I have to give the final advantage to Michael. Wilt is the one player that I would love to have seen in his prime. I only caught his last few years when he was battling a young Kareem, aka Lew Alcinder, and he was still impressive despite no longer trying to be an offensive force.

    Kobe is the most Michael like player we have seen, in fact he is the only one who deserves to be compared to Michael, however, he falls short because he really can't compare statisically, whereas Wilt could.

    I am afraid that when the Lakers repeat this year, and three peat next year you won't be able to fight off the morons any longer, they will overwhelm you.

    I have to root against the Lakers just to protect against the Kobe onslaught.

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