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Dr. Johnny Benjamin Headshot

No Longer Want to Be Like Mike?

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His ‘Air-ness’ is taking a great deal of heat these days over his induction speech during the Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies.  I’ve heard and read very few positive comments about his 23 minutes of reflection.

I’ll preface my comments by saying that I like many others enjoyed Michael Jordan’s athletic prowess but my favorite player is Julius Erving.  I am not a devoted Jordan fan and have never purchased a pair of his sneakers.  They cost too much and in all honesty I never had that much game…though I was no punk either.  With that said here we go.

I apparently stand alone in my appreciation for the first real glimpse into the man Michael Jordan, sans the marketing façade.  Until now, I think that the world has seen mostly only what Madison Avenue and Brand Jordan carefully scripted and manufactured for public consumption.

At the basketball HOF we finally got an opportunity to see Michael Jordan raw…straight no chaser.  The real MJ may not have pleased you or maybe he even offended your sensibilities.   Furthermore, I believe that the only people more disappointed than apparently many of the sportscasters, pundits, talking heads, professional writers, bloggers and people standing around the office water cooler is Mr. Jordan’s team of high powered public relations and marketing people that wove this billion dollar fantasy.

This HOF soliloquy has obviously been brewing in Michael for quite some time.   Most likely, his image consultants have for years convinced him that discussion of all matters political, racial, the least bit controversial or even substantial were strictly verboten.  He traded his right of free speech and freedom to voice his opinions for a boat load of cash.   

I saw his speech as cathartic.  He must feel 1,000 pounds lighter and probably slept like a baby.  Michael Jordan after all of these years finally said what he truly felt; without concern for spin, image, market share or repercussion. 

Michael Jordan is an uber-competitive person that sees everyone, and I do mean everyone, as a potential threat to his throne or some may say his ego.  He clearly has friends but they obviously are not off-limits.  They too can find themselves squarely in his cross hairs. 

You may not have liked the real MJ that was finally revealed to the world. You may have even felt duped for all of these years.

But at the end of the day, did you really think that he could fly?