Michael Jordan Made Me Watch Basketball

I grew up in a household playing sports…T-ball, baseball, football, soccer, basketball.  Eventually, I dropped all of them except for soccer.  My brother added wrestling in junior high and high school.  My dad had played sports growing up and liked to watch us play, but he also watched a bunch of them on TV, baseball, football, boxing, the occasional bowling match, the Olympics -summer and winter, and the CBS Wide World of Sports on Saturdays.  He never watched basketball, though.  Never asked why, but I guess it just didn’t do much for him.

The first time I saw Michael Jordan playing was in the 1988-89 post-season.  While not a regular NBA fan, I’d played basketball a little and knew some of the teams and “big names”.  I hadn’t heard of Jordan before (I had been living in Germany since 1986), but he was exciting to watch.  It was amazing how one player could so dominate a game.  The next year, as the second half of the season closed in on the post season, I was rooming with a huge Detroit Pistons fan in AIT.  By now I was a Michael Jordan fan and I didn’t care about watching any games that didn’t include the Bulls, but I’d watch the Detroit games with my roommate.  We talked a lot of trash during the Conference Finals that year with his Pistons winning.  Over the rest of his career with the Bulls, I watched all the games I could.  I even got my wife interested in watching the game or, more precisely, Michael Jordan.  After his second retirement from the Bulls, I stopped watching basketball.

I bought his book, For the Love of the Game, and saw his IMAX movie.  He worked his butt off to become what he was.  He wasn’t happy just being a scoring machine, he worked to improve his defense, to make all areas of his game as good as they could be.  This commercial speaks to that…

I tried to catch a few of the games when he came back with the Wizards, but it wasn’t the same.  I still catch a few playoff games here and there, but I don’t have any desire to go out of my way to watch them.  Maybe someone will come along that will energize me to watch it again, but for now I’ll have to stick with my memories and the video highlights like the ones below…

Not sure when this clip is from but here’s Jay Leno asking Michael if he can still dunk and Michael’s reply…

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