The internet spent much of the past week captivated by Wright Thompson's Outside The Lines profile of Michael Jordan, who turns 50 this week. One of the many fascinating excerpts left a bit of mystery for the reader:
A while back, his brother, Larry, who works for the team, noticed a commotion on the practice court. He looked out the window of his office and saw his brother dominating one of the best players on the Bobcats in one-on-one. The next morning, Larry says with a smile, Jordan never made it into his office. He got as far as the team's training room, where he received treatment.
"You paying the price, aren't you?" Larry asked.
"I couldn't hardly move," Jordan said.
Jordan, at 49 years old and well above his playing weight, dominated a current NBA player, supposedly one of the best on the Bobcats? Who could that be? Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long to find out. Charlotte rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, speaking to USA Today's Adi Joseph in Houston, owned up to a defeat at the hands of the Bobcats owner:
"It was hard for me," Kidd-Gilchrist said before playing in the Rising Stars Challenge rookie-sophomore game Friday night. "I lost. He's the greatest man that ever played the game.
"Oh, yeah. He's good."
It's not so, so surprising. Jordan's big enough now to push Kidd-Gilchrist around and presumably still has a jump shot, while MKG struggles to hit even open jumpers. And the rookie's defensive prowess must only go so far in a one-on-one setting against one of the greatest scorers in human history. We don't have a full play-by-play, but I imagine Kidd-Gilchrist kept it even before (assuming make-it-take-it rules) ceding a massive run of pull-up jumpers to Jordan, probably intermixed with obscene, venomous snippets of trash talk. Yes, I feel pretty confident Michael Jordan would mercilessly trash-talk his own 19-year-old employee.
Anyway, props to MJ for still havin' it and additional props to MKG for owning up to his defeat. At the very least, he probably would've dominated a rematch, since it sounds like Jordan could barely walk after his win.