Tomorrow, the national sports media will be all about all things Michael Jordan (come here for our own special coverage – not only will we be at the ceremony, but we will also be rolling out our own unique MJ content that will be different from the same stuff you can get at every other outlet). And with good reason.
And you can bet that 99.9% of all coverage will be of the loving/adoring/fawning variety, with lots and lots of video montages of Mike exacting his wrath on legions of NBA opponents. But not everyone will be up for blindly celebrating MJ and his legacy, most notably fans of the Washington Wizards, also, arguably, for good reason. For example, take the piece posted on BulletsForever today by Mike Prada, who, like many (if there are actually “many”) Wizards fans out there, is asking himself, “How should I feel about this?”
While Prada recognizes and gives unequivocal respect to Mike’s Bulls playing career, MJ’s Wizards hit list, when laid out so starkly, is quite frankly a train wreck. From the post:
But I also can’t help but feel bitter about his time in DC, a tenure dominated by Jordan often putting his own interests above the good of the team. Maybe he meant well, maybe he didn’t, but it’s tough to deny that Jordan did not elevate the Wizards to a level that anyone should be proud of. Two straight 37-win seasons are a failure, even for the Wizards.
During Jordan’s tenure as an executive and a player, he made the following wrong moves:
* He drafted Kwame Brown
* He hired Leonard Hamilton
* He traded Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse
* He hired a coach proven to stink at handling young players (Doug Collins), even though he had a young team.
* He forced the Wizards to play a half-court style that benefited him, but did not necessarily benefit guys like Rip Hamilton, Courtney Alexander, Kwame Brown and Tyronn Lue.
* He balked at coming off the bench at the start of the 2002/03 season, instead forcing his way into the lineup and messing up his best free agent’s confidence (Larry Hughes).
* He didn’t do a great job of sharing the spotlight with his co-star, whether it was Rip Hamilton or Jerry Stackhouse.
Those are just a few. He had some successes, but the bottom line is that he mostly failed.
Decades from now, how will history remember MJ’s Wizards legacy?