Admittedly, this isn’t that big of a deal. Jordan stands 6-foot-6, is one of the superb all-time athletes and—in his prime—soared through the air with dazzling ease. That he can still get a basketball through a hoop doesn’t seem that shocking.
However, I’m sorta hoping the photo—and the moment—stirs something in Michael Jordan.
I hope, in the 2013-14 NBA season, he comes back to play.
I know … I know—why? Why would I encourage a legend to put on a (egad) Bobcats uniform and average 5 ppg for a crap team? Why would I want to see his shot blocked, his dribble stripped, his aged body fall to the ground after some nobody like Nick Young or MarShon Brooks boxes him out for a rebound?
Answer: Because I’m old.
It’s true. I’m 41, which means—were I good enough to have played professional sports—I’d almost certainly be five … six … seven … 10 years into my retirement. With rare exception, 41-years-olds don’t play. And, if they do play, they’re hanging on by a thread, pathetically grasping for a final moment of glory. Well, those guys give me hope. And optimism. I want Jordan to return because, when I’m 50 (a mere nine years away) I want to be able to think, “Well, it’s still possible for someone my age to be an NBA player.” I want to believe life isn’t over; that physicality isn’t a thing of the past; that—dammit—I can play pickup and hold my own against the 24-year old with the sticker inside his cap.
I’m aware this all sounds silly and a bit contrived. But, really, I want Michael Jordan to return to the hardwood.
I want him to matter.
I want to matter, too.