It's been a debate for many years now, but fans are talking about it again after recent comments from one of the NBA's most respected players. Should Michael Jordan have his jersey retired by the NBA across the board? Superstar LeBron James announced this week that he will be changing his number from 23 to 6, to honor Jordan. He also encouraged other players to do it as well.
If LeBron wants to do this, fine! If guys other guys like: Jason Richardson and Kevin Martin want to follow suit, okay! But to retire Jordan's number across the league is a insult to someone like Jackie Robinson.
Growing up, I was a huge Michael Jordan fan. Living in Iowa, you either cheered for the T-Wolves or Bulls. While Chicago wasn't always my favorite team, I loved watching Jordan. But it was my dad that constantly reminded me that there was a many generations of NBA superstars before His Airness.
If you retire Jordan's number, shouldn't you retired guys like Bill Russell (more championships), Kareem Abdul Jabbar (more points), Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlain (he changed the way the game was played). Soon, there wouldn't be enough numbers left.
Jordan was a magical player. His five MVPs, six NBA titles, two gold medals, and countless All-Star appearances prove that. But, do we caught up in Jordan's greatness as a marketer, before his play on the court?
Who cares if Jordan got us to buy his shoes and wear longer shorts. We need to take a look at solely his play on the court.
Many would argue that by this philosophy, Jackie Robinson's number shouldn't be retired by baseball. But, Robinson s entry into Major League Baseball had a momentous impact on the anti-racist struggle in the U.S. To compare Jordan and Robinson's impact on society in the same breath, is outright wrong. Not to mention Robinson put up Hall of Fame numbers while not being liked by all of his teammates, hearing constant boos, and having the pressures of staying with away from his team in hotels.
When we look at just his play, Jordan's numbers are not as dominating as people think. He didn't score the most points, he doesn't have the most NBA championships, other players have averaged more points in a season, he wasn't the greatest teammate, and his game winning shot total has been surpassed by Kobe Bryant.