When Michael Jordan turned 40 while playing for the Washington Wizards in his final arc, feelings were pretty high.
It’s safe to say that perhaps no other athlete in any sport has had the impact MJ has had on basketball. There were other dominant athletes before Jordan arrived – Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving immediately come to mind.
But no one was as watchable, as much of a showstopper as the ultra-athletic 6’6″ MJ. I mean, how does a rookie start getting GOAT comparisons from their Olympic head coach BEFORE they make their NBA debut? Bobby Knight certainly thought so in 1984.
Bobby Knight explains why Michael Jordan is the best basketball player he’s ever seen.
Before, Jordan had played in an NBA game.
Square. Fucking. At.
— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) February 25, 2022
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It wasn’t long before the entire world echoed the same sentiments as the legendary Indiana Hoosiers coach. When Michael first retired from basketball following the untimely murder of his father, it was as if the whole world was in mourning.
But 23 came back to 45 once, then to 23 again on the Washington Wizards for a third and final spell. And nothing underscores the deep love Michael Jordan had for his craft better than one of his advertisements from his Wizards tenure.
This amazing Michael Jordan ad shows him playing 1-on-1 against himself, 23
Michael Jordan started his first goalscoring run at the age of 23. It was his 3rd season in the league, and he had just dropped 63 points to the all-time great Celtics 1985-86 at Boston Garden. He averaged 37 points per game that year – still a post-merger average record.
MJ, 23, would absolutely give every player in NBA history the deal on both sides. Every night, from possession to possession. But if there’s one player in history who would be absolutely up to the challenge, it had to be the 39-year-old himself.
This ad, aptly titled “23 vs. 39,” gives us a glimpse into MJ’s psychopathic mindset.
When we talk about the greatest sports commercials of all time, “23 vs. 39” should be included in the conversation. Michael Jordan from 🐐 pic.twitter.com/g4TZBwCZCv
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) March 3, 2022
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These are the moments that underline exactly why MJ warned us all that he could really return to professional basketball during his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2009. They also form the backbone of why his legacy will legitimately never be overcome on a basketball court.