Michael Jordan’s Second Return to the NBA
Michael Jordan has been of interest to me ever since I began playing basketball myself in the fourth grade. I often found myself trying to replicate Jordan’s moves and motions on the court. I already know a great deal about Jordan because I have studied his career and practically memorized his credentials, both as an athlete and a thriving businessperson. I often found myself staring at my ceiling at night reciting free-throw percentages and such. The main controversy when dealing with Jordan, however, focuses not on his ability to play basketball, rather his second return to the game. Should Jordan have returned for the second time, or should he have stayed away from the basketball court? Factors such as fan reaction, Jordan’s performances since his return, and his age all influence this question. Although some may argue that Michael Jordan made the wrong decision by returning to the basketball court, I have concluded that his return was successful because the questioned factors all weigh heavily in favor of him.
Fan reaction, certainly, is a good subject to discuss when referring to Michael Jordan’s return. It is obvious that he is a well-known athlete and fans all over the world know him. As Steve Rushin, a reporter for Sports Illustrated, has stated, “the absurd variety of his fans is, as ever, unmatched in sports” (19). Rushin’s statement explains the variety of fans that Jordan has collected throughout his career as a basketball player and how these fan numbers tower over any other sport. It is predictable that the fans will want to see Jordan play again and Roscoe Nance, from USA Today, proves this by mentioning the boom in ticket sales after his return. Nance reports, “Ticket sales say Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA is a slam dunk in terms of approval rating.” Although ticket sales speak for themselves, still many oppositions likely do not want him to return. There could be a few reasons for this. One is that they are afraid that Jordan will turn his team into another dynasty and dominate the NBA again. Other reasons could be that they simply do not want to see Jordan take a chance on ruining his legendary title of the greatest basketball player of all time. I must say that ticket sales do not lie and overall, Jordan’s return was a success on this parameter of the subject.
Secondly, Jordan’s performance is another subject matter to contend with when questioning his return to basketball. It is well known that Jordan has performed well throughout his career, but how does his performance after his return compare to his previous statistics? As per the player profiles of Yahoo Sports, Jordan’s Minutes Per Game average were “38.8” in 1997 before his retirement and “34.9” in 2001, the first year of his return. These numbers show little reduction in playing time. The slight decline, however, is likely due to fatigue that occurs late in the game. When looking...