Thursday, 25 June 2015
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
23 is almost iconic as a number as the name Michael Jordan is itself. As iconic and as synonymous to the greatest of all time himself as the Windy City of Chicago, the Bulls franchise and it's white hot, seeing red uniforms. Not to mention of course the Air Jordan's on his feet. Sure, it's not all about the outfit...or even the shoes (sorry Mars), but if you're an emperor you have to have clothes. And Mike wears the number like no other. Before him or after. Sorry King...but we love your homage representation. The NBA just may as well retire it across the league like Baseball did for Jackie Robinson. Although having the number 42 as the sole number retired across the board in a sport carries so much more moving meaning for just what Jackie meant to not only athletes and African-American ones, but to African-Americans and any other race as a whole. Speaking of the forties one of the NBA's top 50 may have left his but the number 45 still means something to the legacy lexicon of the legend of 23. Michael wore the 4-5 for the Bulls when he came back to the league after Money's stint in the sticks, when basketball's greatest tried his hand and swing at baseball. Wearing the number 45 and rounding bases for the love of his tragically and dearly departed dad. The number 45 is cult-considered among hoop and eBay auction purists as Michael Jordan's other number. Still thrift shop and court connoisseurs need to familiarize themselves with another number, rarer and somewhat forgotten. As sweet sounding as Jamie Foxx's 'Dozen Roses' L.P., here's 12 reasons why that very number is another collectible symbol of the Jerry West logo leagues most iconic character.
1. In a throwback testimony sport and legacy laced league that holds so much value for rare collectible commodities, the greatest basketball player of all-time wore this jersey for one, sole game only.
2. "Sole" that's reminds us of other one-off signatures in this legends line. Like those special sneakers that exist in epic exclusivity due to their one-night only showcasing. Like his rookie card, here is something else Jordan fans want to get their hands on.
3. This one game that the calender year number of 12 was worn on for all you basketball lovers, was on the 14th February...Valentines Day.
4. For you fond of anniversary's that was 25 years ago. Sure not 23...but a quarter of a century.
5. And for the statisticians, number 23...sorry 12's line read 49 points in 47 minutes. Although his Bulls lost in overtime 135-129.
6. But a loss or one point off 50 still doesn't stop this from being one of Michael Jordan's greatest point performances. More than just another outing footnote in his league leading year of a 33.6 average over 82 games.
7. Now for all you historians out there, this was a road game against the Orlando Magic in Florida.
8. Game geeks take sidebar story note that this was the Magic franchises rookie season in the league after Orlando pulled them out of the hat. Bonus, this was the first season for some coach called Phil too.
9. Orlando, Florida is key to the reason this number was employed. The legend of rumor has it that Michael Jordan's iconic number 23 was stolen on Gameday on the road before Mike got the chance to rock it out the gym bag. Now someone look up the all-grown up kid who stole Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game ball. There's a purist out there that collect points that others make for his own trophy room.
10. Fans in turn where searched. No not for said jersey, but bizarrely another number 23 that would fit Mike. It obviously says a lot for Mike that so many in attendance available wore his jersey in the stands (obviously), but kind of doesn't for his fans who didn't match the greatest athlete's body-type (and this was before the Mitchell & Ness hip-hop, triple X over-sizing trend too). How Marvin Gaye loving sweet would it have been however to be the fan lucky and fitted (some kid...KID came close) enough to be the one to have Mike wear their jersey. I'm sure if this would have been the case an autographed thank you would have been in order.
11. Thankfully though in case of a glass breaking emergency, the Bulls had a nameless number 12 on hand which makes this story complete and gives you a sweet looking jersey in the style of those old Milwaukee Bucks jerseys. So legendary (you can see from the dear, stag uniform update this offseason) that even Oscar Robertson or the name Abdul-Jabbar didn't adorn the backs of some of the NBA's frontline players.
12. “That has never happened to me before,'' Michael Jordan told press postgame of what was treated as more than just something for the infamous superstitious player. The rest remains a mystery, which in turn is why this story is still being told today in another chapter of a career where every chance moment is a collectible one.
Add that all up and that's a dozen Easter Egg reasons why the number 12 is as significant a side-story as the number 45 to the final box-score reading of the Chicago Bulls' 23.
Monday, 22 June 2015
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
(To The Lyrics of 'Juicy' By The Notorious B.I.G.)
Get a grip player!
Yeah, this article is dedicated to all the coaches that told Akeem he'd never amount to nothing. To all the people that lived above the playgrounds that he was hustling in front of that called on him when he was just trying to make some shots to feed his talent. And all people of the world in the struggle. You know what I'm saying?
Uh-huh! It's all good baby bay-bee!
It was all a dream. I used to read SLAM magazine. Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson running the floor like a limousine. Hanging posters on my wall. Every gameday Michael, Mr. Magic, Larry Bird. I let my Converse rock 'til my ankle pop. Smoking opponents and courts, sipping on Gatorade. Way back, when I had the red and black Rocket top. With the cap to match. Remember Rocket duels, the shake, the shake. You never thought that Basketball would take it this far. Now Hakeem in the limelight because he plays tight. Time to get paid, stand tall forever in memory like the World Trade. Born player, the definition of a winner. Remember when he used to eat Shaquille for dinner? Peace to Rob Horry, 'The Jet' Kenny, Charles Barkley. Sam Cassell, 'Clutch City'. He's blowing up like you thought he would. Call the hall, same corridor same fame. It's all good.
You know very well who he is. Nobody could hold him down, reach for the rafters. You had a goal, so many 'cause you're the only one who gave Clutch City good and plenty.
He made the change from a common ballplayer. To up close and personal with Ralph Sampson. And he's far from cheap, he smokes squads with his team all day. Spread love, it's the Texan way. The Moet and cigarillo keep his victory. Critics used to diss him. Now they writing articles 'cause they miss him. He never thought it could happen, this ballin' stuff. He was too used to keeping goals and soccer stuff. Now defenders played him close like butter played toast. From the Texas Triangle down to the East Coast. Centers near Queens, road trips for weeks. Sold out seats to watch Dream Shake peak. Playing' ball without fear. Putting down 5 karats worth of Michael Jordan's ear. Quarters, games, seasons by the playoff pool. Considered a fool the way he took everyone to high school. Stereotypes of a international ball player misunderstood. And it's still all good.
Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis. When you play on NBA 2K, man you couldn't picture this. 50 inch screen, money red, leather ball. Got two rings, a MVP with a Olympic gold. Contract about two mill flat. No need to worry, his agent handles that. And his whole team is lounging. Celebrating every day, no more public hounding. Thinking back on his one-dorm shack. Now his mom watches him play with a 34 on her back. And she loves to show him off, of course. Smiles every time his face is up in Sports Illustrated. He used to fuss when the scouting report dissed him. Miami Heat, wonder why Portland missed him. Playoff losses were the worst days. Now he sips champagne on victory. Uh, damn right he liked the career he lived. 'Cause he went from rookie to legend. And it's all...
(It's all good)
...and if you don't know, now you know!
Representing H-Town in the house, Toyota Center, Lone Star. Yeah that's right!