Donít HateÖ Appreciate
Iíve tried to let all the furor surrounding
Jordanís comeback die down but now I can be silent no more. Whatís the
big deal? So, the guy wants to play ball again, whatís that got to do with
you? All this talk about legacies, legend and lore being tarnished is a
bunch of hogwash. What Michael Jordan has done for himself and the game
we all love can no more be tarnished than what any of the other great sports
heroes did in their careers. Babeís still The Babe. Wiltís still The Stilt.
Altheaís still Thea. And Jordanís still Jordan. His legend is tamper-resistant,
Oh, but we want to remember him the
way he was. What is this, a Barbra Streisand moment? Get over yourself.
This ainít about you. This story is about a boy and a game that he loves.
What if youíd done something for 30 years every single day of your life
and then suddenly gave it up? Think it would be hard? Hell yeah. So, letís
just give M.J. room to be human. Who cares if he canít take off from the
free throw line and throw down on some poor soul anymore? I donít. Iíve
never cared about that. No, what Iím looking forward to is Jordan outwitting
defenders who think they can pickpocket him or play off of him. Iím feigning
for the bedazzled looks on the faces of those who will underestimate him.
Iím waiting to hear his friend Charles Barkley eat his words (in between
the Twinkies) on TNTís studio coverage. Now, thatís must-see television
right there, my friends.
And who cares if Kobe, Allen and
Vince are gonna break him down off the dribble and dunk on him a few times
before the seasonís over? They did that three years ago and nobody cried
bloody murder. What Iím saying is this: basketball is better with Jordan
than it ever was without him. The NBA is better with Jordan in a uniform
than it is with him in his gray Armani suits. And Lord knows that the Washington
Wizards are better with his Airness in the lineup than they could ever
fathom being without him.
So, relax fellas. Letís enjoy the
ride while it lasts. Itís gonna be fun and you know it!
Harris is a WNBA champion, motivational speaker, filmmaker, national broadcaster
and the best-selling author of SUMMER MADNESS: Inside the Wild, Wacky,
Wonderful World of the WNBA. She covers NCAA men's and women's hoops and
has been a WNBA announcer since 1998. She is the host of "Time Out with
Fran Harris", a sports talk radio show in Austin, Tx. For more information
on Fran, visit franharris.com.