Is it just me or is anyone else haunted by Michael Jordan’s second comeback to basketball (after he had retired for the second time)? Does it ever creep into your mind and make you think “why Michael, why? Why did you do it Michael?”
Your first comeback was spectacular. Everyone was so pleased to see you and there was (rightly) a real sense of optimism in the entire basketball community. It was the resurrection, the second coming. You got the Bulls back on top again. You saved the day.
You scored the winning points, in the final few seconds of the winning game against the Jazz. You won the title for yourself and the Bulls, for a sixth time, yours and the team’s second three-peat. We all knew we were witnessing history and we all knew there was no better way of tying things up. What a way to retire. It was a real life Hollywood ending. Did you really think it could get better than that? Did you, Michael? Did you?
And when you returned – at the age of 38 – when you were clearly past it – you came back to play for the Wizards. After an entire career with the Bulls, a career that was truly Hollywood, you go to for the Wizards, Michael? Really? The Wizards? Come on, mate. Had you not returned to the NBA, had you chosen a minor league, just as a hobby, it would have all been ok. It would have been no different to playing on your local street court.
You really blew it, Michael. No athlete could have ever dreamed of having a career like yours and ending it – or what we all thought was ending it – in the spectacular way we all thought you did. And then you really went and bollocksed it up.
It still haunts me to this day. It’s like a recurring dream, except it’s real and I’m awake. Every now and then it pops into my head and I get the same feeling as when I think of Guns ’N’ Roses with no Slash, Izzy or Duff, or Queen with Paul Rogers. Does anyone else ever get this, or is it just me?