Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Most people want to be M.J. This guy wants to 'beat M.J.'!
By Tim David Harvey
Take a trip down memory lane to your wildest childhood imaginations for a second. It's your court. Your dribbling the ball like you never have before, your crossing your opponent up; shaking left, baking right. You spin round your man, your so confident that your tongues out, and for some reason your heads bald too (and you haven't even hit 30 yet). The reason being, your Michael Jordan, this is your fantasy right? You fake right, break left and clutch, the perfect drive; mirror, signal, manoeuvre. You pull up for the shot, counting down from three in your head and fade. It looks more then good, you pull the tongue in and smile...but then... SWAT!
What!? Wait a minute, a block? This isn't supposed to happen right? Well,
When most people dream of being 'Like Mike' some men dream of beating Mike like the Fresh Prince and Tyson in the late eighties. These men appear to be Kobe Bryant and Kenny Eller. Who I hear you say? He's a shooting guard who's won a few games for the Lakers. Kenny Eller on the other hand is a sports writer and hoops aficionado who has wrote a letter to the greatest challenging him to a game and he won't stop until he has his marked man in the cross overs. That's competitiveness right there, Mike's bound to recognise and if that's not enough then there's always his incredible, developing website www.mevsMJ.com and blog, which are garnering more attention by the game he's having with up and coming stars, coupled with sessions with serious coaches to prepare. With poetry giving justice to his passion and co-signs from other heirs like Grant Hill this is one hell of an interesting basketball story that's still being wrote from the prose to the pro's. Kenny better keep hitting the gym because this 34 year old social networking genius may just be about to realise dreams are real. This Central Florida native will have to look for some of that Orlando Magic because you never know the G.O.A.T. may just do what Eller and everyone wants and lace 'em up. With this possibility it's time 24/48/82 got in touch with the man himself. Kenny Eller take it away.
24/48/82: JORDAN?! Wouldn't it have been easier challenging Sam Bowie?
Haha, I suppose so. This isn’t a journey about ease though. It’s a journey to play my childhood hero and the greatest basketball player to ever live. It’s a journey to show that anything truly is possible with faith and hard work.
24/48/82: Most people dream of being Mike. You’re taking it a step further. You ready?
I don’t know that anyone has ever truly been ready for Michael Jordan. Having said that, I am taking this very seriously.
24/48/82: So what do your think your chances are of playing the man himself?
I KNOW it will happen. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of WHEN. I truly believe that.
24/48/82: You have seen that episode of 'My Wife & Kids' where Damon Wayans challenges him right?
No, I actually haven’t! I’ll have to check it out! Maybe I can pick up some pointers!
24/48/82: Ha, ha! I wouldn't look at him for pointers. Let's just say he got swept! So what do you have in store for the greatness?
Just being the best that I can be. I know I’m not the worthiest opponent from a skill and athletic standpoint, but there won’t be another person on this blue and green marble that will put more effort forth than when we play. I’ve been to professional basketball training, have shot with the greatest shooter in the world, played with some very high level competition and even talked with a couple of NBAers. This isn’t a joke. I’m going all out.
24/48/82: You've got to switch hands, and stick your tongue out if you break to the basket right?
Haha, I don’t know about that!
24/48/82: And shrug your shoulders at him back down the court?
If I got hot, I’d let sleeping dogs lie!
24/48/82: Tell us more about your brilliant website www.mevsMJ.com and all the ways you've being raising awareness of the campaign for your challenge?
Well, I began mevsMJ.com in August 2010. The original goal was to prepare myself for Michael Jordan Senior Flight School, which is held in August each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. For years I’ve dreamed about going to the camp and playing hoops with and against MJ (Have to be 34 or older to attend). So right as Senior Flight School came to a close this year I launched mevsMJ.com. I began with four goals: Get in the best shape of my life, be the best basketball player that I can be, enjoy every second of the journey and attend Michael Jordan Senior Flight School. In December 2010 I found out that he canceled the camp this year. After pulling myself together, I decided to change my goal from attending the camp to getting a game of 1-on-1 versus MJ to 15 points! As far as raising awareness I haven’t done a lot really. I’ve just been posting twice a week to my blog since August, detailing the training, people I’ve played, set backs, and amazing blessings! I’m a little over nine months in thus far and it has been a blast!
24/48/82: Who have you played in preparation and how have you faired?
The most notable people I’ve played thus far have been 7’3” Akeme Smart, #79 ranked high school player in the country according to ESPN and Virginia Tech signee Robert Brown, and Jamaican National team starting shooting guard and NBDL draftee Garfield Blair (video of each match-up is on my site mevsMJ.com). Honestly, I’m getting my butt kicked! I really didn’t know people could be that good at basketball, so that has been quite the eye opener! The journey really is where the value is found though. The tricks and skills I’m picking up from playing them has really transitioned well when I incorporate it back into games with “regular” people. It’s been awesome!
24/48/82: What have the coaches and professionals advised you?
From Matt Hiller (Impact Basketball), to Dave Hopla (World’s Greatest Shooter), to Kevin Sutton (Asst Coach at George Washington), to Nick Anderson (former player for the NBA’s Orlando Magic), to Grant Hill (Phoenix Suns) they have all be extremely supportive of what I’m looking to accomplish. I think most everyone can identify with going after a dream.
24/48/82: What's your favourite moment from Michael?
I have so many MJ moments going through my head, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw him play in person. The attention to detail, the competitiveness, and the passion that he displayed even in pre-game warm-ups blew me away. He showed me before the game even began why he was the best!
24/48/82: 'If' he beats you are you going to challenge him to a game of 'Monopoly'? You may last a little longer in that. Hear it's not his forte.
No way! I’ll tighten up my Jordans and ask him to play again!
24/48/82: Seriously though we are right behind you and wish you the best, it's an incredible thing and your going to do it. After Mike who's got next? Kobe?
Thank you! I really appreciate it! As far as Kobe goes, If Kobe wants a piece of me, sure! Haha, no seriously though, to me there is no one after Michael Jeffrey Jordan. He stands alone.