BUFFALO GROVE - "Oh, God...here we go again," muttered Cooper Middle School teacher Jenny Kravec. "I swear to God I have to do this more with each passing year."
Mrs. Kravec's 7th grade biology class was interrupted Monday by an argument between Andy Goldsmith and Patrick Herring.
"First day of school. Seriously? First day of school and we have to deal with this stupid argument. Oh, well...time to grab the discs again."
Goldsmith disrupted class after Herring missed a shot at the class garbage can. The 12 year old informed Herring that his shot was 'just like Durant's choke job in the Finals,' and that 'LeBron comes through when it matters the most.' Herring responded by noting the multiple late game failures of James...which then led to Goldsmith stating that 'LeBron's the greatest of all-time. He's a champion. Something Durant knows nothing about', and that 'Kobe was lucky to win one without Shaq.' Herring then resorted to stating that 'no player of all-time shared the court vision and inside-outside game of Durant; thus making him the greatest player of all-time.
Kravec stopped class, like she's done multiple times in the past, to go through her normal routine.
"Okay, Tiffany turn out the lights. I'm about to show you about a 5 minute clip...I want you all to just jot down some notes...and when this is all done, could you all just do me a favor and shut up. Thank You."
The five minute highlight reel featured clips from Michael Jordan's playing days; going through his biggest moments. Kravec provided the commentary.
"So, here's him his rookie year, yadayadayada, so what, ooh, here it is. See, this is him in Boston against the '86 Celtics, one of the greatest teams of all-time...on the road...playing for a 30-52 team...that has Kyle Macy as its point guard...and scoring 63 points. The Celtics went 40-1 at home that season. I know, big deal, slam dunk championships, MVP in '88...ooh, here we go. He pretty much single-handedly dissects Cleveland with a fifth place 47-35 team over a 57 win Cavs team. The Bulls went 0-6 against Cleveland in the regular season. He hits a shot at the buzzer to win the series...here's him outmanned against Detroit; leading the Bulls to a 2-1 series lead. And...what's this? Oh, this is 69 points against Cleveland. I know, Kobe had 81 against Toronto. That was really nice. Welp, here's what's important. The first of six championships playing without a Shaq on the inside. His centers in the championship years varied from Bill Cartwright, Will Perdue, Bill Wennington, Luc Longley, Bison Dele, etc. Oh, I love this one...in '92 they're down 17 to Portland in Game 6 and come back to win the championship. Oh, '93! He's beating Cleveland at the buzzer again, God I feel so bad for them. Oh, 55 against Phoenix for a huge Game 4 victory in the Finals. He comes back after retirement in '95, goes into Madison Square Garden against the best defensive team in basketball and scores 55 points. Where was it, OH! Sorry, 72 win team. Oh, yeah, the scoring championships. Yeah, Game 1 buzzer winner of '97 Finals. The Flu Game...championship #5...oh, here we are...the final shot, '98, six championships. So, let's summarize. (turns lights back on) Six titles, Six NBA Finals MVP's, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star Game MVP, regular season MVP's, game deciding shots in the '89 against the Cavs, '91 against the Lakers, '93 against the Suns, '97 against the Jazz, '98 against the Jazz...no center, no pure post presence. Okay? Okay? Alright, let's get back to biology."
It may seem a bit over-the-top to have an entire mini-movie dedicated to Jordan. But for Kravec, and many other middle school teachers, it has become a necessity.
"Two people are usually going at it with Kobe, LeBron, or Durant. I just got sick of it. Seriously, what planet are these kids on? We have parents that make sure their kids carry disinfectant at their desk. These are the same parents that still cut up their kids' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches even though they're 12. They're this over-protective, but they don't have the decency or the time to calmly explain to their kids who the greatest basketball player of all-time is? If they did this, then I wouldn't have to sit here and do this stupid presentation once a week. I'm wasting tax payer money based on this filth that kids are allowed to talk about at home."
Some teachers have started action groups to combat the stupidity. Erin Johnson is the president of KFMJ (Kids for MJ), a non-for-profit organization that teaches kids about Michael Jordan.
"We're seeing kids coming in from broken homes, kids who don't eat, kids who join gangs...we can find reasons as to why kids fall through these cracks...but when it comes to not realizing that Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all-time....I just can't find a reason for that. That's why we need action. We need parents to talk to their kids about Jordan. Sit down as a family and talk about it. Keep it in the open. If you don't, you'll have a pathetic child babbling about the 'next best thing'. Nobody wants that. It's time to realize just how pervasive this issue can be."
Herring and Goldsmith will be in detention starting at 3:30 p.m. Monday.