Today, Michael Jordan celebrates his 50th birthday. Air Jordan’s birthday is getting the treatment of a national holiday, with countless media coverage and television specials devoted to the honor the six-time champion’s birthday. It does seem like a basketball holiday that falls on the sport’s annual weekend celebration to recognize the greatest of the greats in the NBA today, and to give the fans some great fun and entertainment as well.
Michael Jordan has not only achieved the status of greatest player to ever play, but his legacy from on and off the court lives on through every player today, the game itself and basketball fans today. Jordan changed the way the game was played and the way it was perceived by on-lookers everywhere.
During All-Star festivities this weekend in Houston, Jordan was a popular topic among the media for a few reasons. When asked about his feelings on Jordan’s impact to the game, Dwight Howard shared:
“Everybody wanted to be “Like Mike.” He’s amazing. Everything he did, he inspired everybody to be a better basketball player and a better (person). That’s why I enjoyed watching him play.”
Kobe Bryant, who is widely known to have molded his game after Jordan, was asked the same question. Kobe responded:
“The imprint he’s had on the league, he’s an immortal. Everything that he’s done from the business aspect to his professionalism to his work ethic to the global (build) of the game has been something that carries on for generations and generations.”
If you didn’t hear, Michael Jordan recent told Ahmad Rashad (in a special on NBA TV airing Monday) that he would choose Kobe Bryant over LeBron James. It all came down to simple math for Jordan, since Kobe has five rings and LeBron has one. Kobe was asked what his reaction was to Jordan’s pick. Bryant offered:
“It’s something we all know. In terms of winning championships, it’s the most important thing. That’s what it all comes down to. That’s why we all make sacrifices. That’s what I knew coming into the league. You have to win titles to sit at that same lunch table as Magic (Johnson) and Michael (Jordan) and so forth. LeBron (James) knows that and it’s a challenge he’s willing to accept.”
The Jordan name, brand and legacy will live on in the basketball community and in the sports world forever. His impact and influence on all matters of the game will be felt for generations to come. On this All-Star Game that celebrates the best in the NBA, let’s take a minute to celebrate the birthday of a legend.