Today I read that Michael Jordan just achieved billionaire status. My initial thoughts are, it’s about time! I of course, mean that in no way shape or form disrespectfully to his “Air’ness.” I think it’s great that this once upon a time, super-athlete went from humble upbringings to having his own empire in Nike Air.
I am no Michael Jordan expert but I am a fan of him as a competitor and business man. He is after all, the greatest competitor of all time in the game of basketball besides Kobe Bryant and possibly all professional sports leagues.
I can remember growing up in the 80’s in Detroit, that’s right, I am an 80 baby, Michael Jordan coming into his own with the Chicago Bulls. In the late 80’s the Detroit Bad Boys were staking their claim for a 3rd straight NBA Championship when that pesky Michael Jordan helped spoil Detroit’s party. Detroit Piston’s fans hated Michael Jordan just as most of the NBA’s fans hated the entire Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons team.
Michael Jordan even commanded his own set of rules by the Detroit Pistons, called the “Jordan Rules.” Basically the rules were simple, contact, hard contact when he tried going to the basket. Michael Jordan did things on a basketball court that had not been seen before, he was Julius Erving version 2.0. It was easy to hate Michael Jordan, coming down the court, sticking out his tongue as he dunked over your favorite home team players. I emphasize players, a lot of times he was making more than one player look foolish.
Well, I could not appreciate that guy when I was only 10 years old. Quite frankly, I thought it was normal to hate a guy, I never met, who was making grown men and women cry as super fans. I naturally was supposed to adopt this fandom. Well the problem with that was simple, I grew up. I played competitive soccer at nearly every level and even played with and against people I grew up watching.
The first time I stepped out there with the players I grew up watching I was that fanatic fan reserved. Ten minutes later I am getting smashed into the boards of an indoor soccer arena by the same guys. Well, there went me, into the boards as a fan and stood up a player just like them.
Michael Jordan began being an inspiration to me as an athlete. I loved the way he played against teams especially under the extreme pressure. He reveled in the pressure and the spotlight. He hated to lose and refused to. He played through such adversity at times it was quite unbelievable to watch him overcome and persevere through it all.
He not only was that player Detroiters (some Detroiters) loved to hate, he became a national and international brand. He was everywhere from Wheaties boxes while appearing in Gatorade and Nike commercials. Everyone and I mean “everyone was trying to be like Mike.”
His Nike Air brand is worn by millions around the planet and why is it that he rarely opens his mouth to offend anyone? It’s real simple according to him, “everyone buys Nike Air.” Basically what he means is that to not align himself with particular groups, to not politic, to stay away from issues he essentially has not alienated anyone from buying his brand! Brilliant.