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October 07, 1993 - Image 10

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 7, 1993

THE SPORING VEWS:
With nothing left to prove, Jordan leaves only memories

By MICHAEL ROSENBERG
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The greatest athlete in the world
left our television sets for good yes-
terday.
Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
guard and the most famous athlete in
the world, retired from professional
basketball, saying that he didn't feel
he had anything left to prove as a
basketball player.
Nobody argued.
For when His Airness, as he has
come to be called, left the game, he
left behind no doubts about what he
could do with abasketball. There were
no losses to avenge, wrongs to be
righted, awards to be won, ormyths to
be shot down. There were no ques-
tions. He had answered them all.
We were all shocked upon hearing

the news of Jordan's retirement. But
Jordan's move, like all of Jordan's
moves over the years, accomplished
just what he wanted.
Jordan's star had nowhere to go
but down. He had already established
that he was the most dominant scorer
in NBA history. He had long been a
fixture on the NBA's all-defensive
team. He had shown he could win,
leading the Bulls to the NBA's first
three-peat since the great Boston
Celtic teams of the 1960's.
One would be hard-pressed to find
a professional basketball player who
got better after the age of 30. Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar was a great player well
into his thirties, buthe certainly wasn't
any better than he was in his twenties.
Had Jordan continued with his
career, he may or may not have bro-

ken Kareem's all-time scoring record.
Now that he is done, people will as-
sume he would have.
This is not meant to make Jordan
seem selfish, as if he was only con-
cerned about his own reputation. But
these things did contribute to his deci-
sion, probably more than he would
like to admit. If Jordan had sat down
in 1984 - the year he entered the
league - and made a list of all the
goals he could ever possibly dream to
achieve before his career ended, ev-
erything on that list would be crossed
off by now.
Jordan's retirement does not mean
he has lost his love for the game. But
there is a huge difference between
enjoying a pickup game with your
buddies and wanting to be better than
everybody else on the planet. And
Jordan no longer had the motivation
to be the best in the world. So he's
finished, and all we have left are
memories.
But, oh, what memories.
Jordan burst into the national spot-
light with a 17-foot jump shot in the
final minute of the 1982 NCAA title
game to give his North Carolina Tar
Heels a victory over the Georgetown
Hoyas. But unlike fellow NCAA he-
roes Lorenzo Charles (North Caro-
lina State, 1983) and Keith Smart
(Indiana, 1987), Jordan's feat was
only a glimpse of what was to come.
He would go on to win national
player of the year honors his junior
season in Chapel Hill. Jordan was

also a cinch to make the 1984 U.S.
Olympic team that was a lock to win
the gold medal.
Then, as now, Jordan knew it was
timetomoveon. Hehad accomplished
all he could at North Carolina, both as
an individual and with the team. He
could always go back and finish his
degree (which he did, majoring in
geography). Jordan entered the NBA
draft.
He was the third pick that year,
passed over by Houston and Portland.
They would regret the decision.
From the first time he laced up a
pair of hightops in the NBA, it was
clear Jordan was cut from a different
cloth. He could do things other play-
ers could only drool about.
With sleight of hand and twist of
feet, Jordan was a dominant presence
on the floor, one of those rare athletes
who awed teammates and opponents
alike.
"I take it personally when teams
try to play me one-on-one," Jordan
once said, and few teams tried. Guard-
ing him was hopeless.
Even against the Detroit Pistons,
who had the most success against
him, Jordan averaged 28 points per
game.
As Jordan's level of play rose, the
roadblocks fell. Eventually, there was
only an empty road in front of him,
and Jordan had lost the desire to hit
the gas pedal. So he pulled over to the
side of the road to watch the sun set.
In peace.

Michael Jordan smiles at the press conference he called yesterday to
announce the end of storied career, days before the start of training camp.
DIanve gone, Jordan walks.
faay at pinacle of career

AXQ
Wekcomes Our~w femders!

Amy Adams
Julie Artzt
Amanda Ball
Erin Beadle
Lindsay Beller
Lisa Biederman
Rachel Caskey
Winnie Cheung
Stephanie Christy
Jori Cohen
Jennifer Davis
Kristen Erenberg

Sarah Evans
Amy Everard
Tracey Gropper
Lauren Gizik
Anne Hellie
Dana Heuschele
Andrea Hockenberry
Amy Jefferson
Sarah Kang
Rachel Klein
Dana Limberg
Tanya Manson
Rhonda McAllister

Jennifer McCann
Michelle Murtaugh
Tara Proafio
Jody Randall
Caryn Salomon
Leslie Santiago
Amy Scherzinger
Caroline Semanchik
Erin Sullivan
Hadley Thurmon
Genevieve Veve
Kristina Walker

DEERFIELD, Il. (AP) - There
wereno tears, justthat trademarktwinkle
in his eyes.
There were no nerves, just a be-
mused grin, wide enough to take in the
whole mad scene of a basketball court
overflowing with several dozen TV
cameras and several hundred people.
Striding in purposefully, the tall man
in the tan suit pulled out a chair for his
wife, then sat down in front of the same
red-and-black logo he made recogniz-
able the world over.
Smiling, Michael Jordanleanedover
a microphone and told the world yester-
day that since he had done just about
everything there is to do in basketball,
he was retiring. Though maybe not
forever.
"I've reached the pinnacle of my
career," Jordan said. "I just feel that I
don't have anything else for myself to
prove."
At a news conference packed with

hundreds of reporters at the Chicago
Bulls' training center, Jordan said he'd
lost the motivation to play and had
thought about retiring after leading the
Bulls to their third straight National
Basketball Association championship
in June.
The 30-year-old Jordan said his
father's slaying this summer was not
the main reason behind his decision.
"I was pretty much decided at that
particular time, but I think what it
made me realize was how short life
is," he said.
"I guess the biggest positive thing
I can take out of my father not being
here today is that he saw my last
basketball game. That meant a lot,"
Jordan said.
In his nine years in Chicago, Jor-
dan became the Bulls' all-time lead-
ing scorer and leaves a huge gap on
the team that will be hard to fill.

0

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