On Monday, five new members were elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan and C. Vivian Stringer were the ones that were elected to enter basketball’s elite club. While all of these candidates deserved their induction, the name that stands out to everyone is Michael Jordan. Although Stockton and Robinson has great careers and Stringer and Sloan are both very successful coaches, no one in the history of the NBA has had as great of an impact on the sport of basketball as Michael Jordan. In fact, no athlete has ever had such a big impact on any sport.
Michael Jordan not only transcended basketball, he transcended sports as a whole. He was the first athlete that became a world icon, not just because of his skills on the basketball court but also for his Air Jordan shoes and his famous Nike commercials. Jordan was more than just the greatest basketball player ever; he was an icon.
What Jordan did on the court made every kid who grew up in the 90s want to play basketball. I remember watching him play and then going outside and dunking on my little NERF basketball court as a 3 year old. He was the greatest scorer that I ever watched. Jordan was unstoppable in the post and he made the fade away jumper famous, just like Kareem did with the skyhook. Besides that, he was of course an amazing dunker and finisher. Jordan’s top 10 dunks of his career could only be matched Dr. J and maybe Dominique Wilkins. No one will forget his dunk from the free throw line in the 1988 All-Start Dunk Competition. Not only could he finish but also he could hit the three point shot with consistency. But most importantly, he was the best clutch player in the history of NBA. Jordan could not only score but he also made his teammates better.
Besides his career, in which he won 6 championships, 5 MVPs and finished 3rd on the all time points list with 32,292 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone, he was an icon because of his shoes. Michael Jordan was the first athlete to have his own signature shoe, the Air Jordan. In 1985 he announced the release on his first shoe and he is still making his signature shoe now. His shoes have become a major collector item, selling for thousands of dollars. No athlete has ever had this big of an impact in the fashion world. Besides that Jordan had his signature of sticking his tongue out. Every time he drove to the basket he would stick out his tongue. He made sticking out your tongue the cool thing to do. The shoes and the tongue are what made Jordan the icon that he is.
Jordan had a huge impact on me growing up. I remember as a little boy, going outside and playing basketball pretending I was he. Jordan was the reason why I love basketball. I grew up idolizing him; I truly wanted to “be like Mike”. He was just so good at basketball and I looked up to him because of that. The way he played the game was mesmerizing and I couldn’t help but try to imitate it. I grew up playing basketball and tried to be like him, just like every person who plays basketball does. It’s surreal to know that I grew up watching and idolizing the best basketball player to ever play. I try to be like him in every way, playing basketball, wearing his shoes and sticking out my tongue. To this day I still idolize him for his skill on the court. No one will ever be him, some might come close but no one will ever be like Mike.
Because of this, the hall of fame should not just give him a plaque, they should build a new building just dedicated to him. And I honestly think that you could fill a whole building worth of memorable Jordan accomplishments. In honor of Jordan, I’m going to have to pop in my DVD of his career and watch some highlights.