Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Twist Ending: Jordan Honored in Detroit

Who was that tall gentleman being honored for his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame during halftime of last night's national championship game in Detroit? Why, it was Michael Jordan! Maybe you've heard of the guy.

Pardon the term, but talk about a slam dunk. Is there any athlete in any sport worthy of such an honor more than Jordan? How long do you think the selection committee took to debate that one?

But what makes me want to post a short note about this is that it seems deliciously ironic that Jordan was recognized in Detroit, perhaps the one NBA city that, as my friend Big Al said on Twitter, doesn't universally worship him as a basketball deity. The rivalry between Jordan's Chicago Bulls and our Detroit Pistons was just too fierce, and I could be wrong about this, but I think some hard feelings still exist (though it's been quite a while now).

I'd also like to think that Jordan appreciated the irony of being honored in Detroit, as those knock-down, drag-out playoff series versus the Pistons truly forged him into the championship player he's now known as. Of course, Jordan was already a phenomenal talent. Maybe the best ever. But until he figured how to beat Detroit, he wasn't going to win it all. That rite of passage - something that used to be a standard in the NBA - is an important part of his legacy.