Jordan Not Thrilled About This Hall of Fame Stuff

In news almost as shocking as UNC destroying Michigan State, Michael Jordan was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame yesterday. Nothing unusual to see here. But then they held the press conference for him, and the other inductees, and Jordan’s comments seemed just kind of ... unusual. ↵

↵Normally when an athlete is selected for his sport’s respective HOF their immediate reaction involves some mix of tears, gratitude and shock. Jordan, on the other hand, makes being part of this year’s class sound like a bad thing. Something he doesn’t want, or at the least, isn’t ready for: ↵

↵
↵⇥"This is kind of a love-hate thing for me," Jordan said. "It's a great compliment and great respect, but for me, I always wanted to be able to have you think that I could always go back and play the game of basketball. As long as you have that thought, you never know what can happen. You never know what my abilities can do. ↵⇥

↵⇥"So to me, the Hall of Fame is like, it's over and done with. You can't ever put a uniform back on. It's the total end of your basketball career. It's a great accomplishment and I know I don't walk away from it, but I didn't want to be up here so quickly. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"I wanted to be up here when I was 70 years old, 80 years old. But I'm 45 and I still think I can play. You guys don't know if I can or can't, but at least I've got you thinking that way." ↵⇥

↵
↵Obviously the comments are those of a fiercely competitive athlete who, no matter what his body or faded abilities tell him, still wants to -- has to -- believe he can lace ‘em up tomorrow and compete in the NBA. That’s not the case. Despite what Jordan says, everyone knows that. Except for Michael himself. ↵

↵And that’s why he’s unable to fully accept, and appreciate, this honor. He sees being elected to the Hall of Fame as the death of his career, not the culmination of it. Maybe that’s disrespectful, or arrogant, but that’s also what separates Jordan from everyone else: There is always more for him to accomplish even as he stands atop what mere mortals consider the greatest possible accomplishment in his profession. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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