Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building

When I was a kid growing up, I wasn’t particularly into sports. I don’t think I made it a point to actually tune in and watch games. I liked basketball well enough, having grown up in Indiana, but I wasn’t what you would call a sports fan.

That said, I had a Michael Jordan poster in my room.

I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find a copy of it online, but it was one of those classic photographs of him going for a dunk, tongue dangling out of his mouth, and the man just seemed to be floating in mid-air. There was something about Jordan that seemed to extend beyond the court, a kind of magic that even influenced a non-sports-watching kid like me.

Wright Thompson’s article Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building is a really interesting, behind-the-scenes look at what Jordan has been up to, as he approaches 50. I’m not sure what kind of access he was granted, the the whole article feels like you’re shadowing Jordan, able to look into his personal life, standing a few feet behind the guy.

One interesting fact I never knew: Jordan always thought he would die young.

He just could never imagine being old. He seemed too powerful, too young, and death was more likely than a slow decline. The universe might take him, but it would not permit him to suffer the graceless loss and failure of aging. A tragic flaw could undo him but never anything as common as bad knees or failing eyesight.

More than anything else that emerges from this article, I’m amazed at how competitive Jordan is. And I mean this in the sense that the desire to compete against others, to win against others, seems to be hard-wired into his DNA… and extends far beyond the game of basketball.

Thompson’s article is really a fascinating (and well-written) read, and something I highly recommend. Especially if you’re someone who had a Michael Jordan poster in their bedroom.

[CC photo via simplistic.designs]

Justin Siddons Dancing on the Jumbotron: Bulls Game, United Center
Bulls vs. Celtics, 2004

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. I’ve read elsewhere about his competitiveness. As in, you do NOT want to play poker with him.

    Juliet Reply

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