NBA All-Star Weekend Is For Stars, Michael Jordan Still Reigns Supreme As The Biggest Star Of Them All

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Michael Jeffrey Jordan hasn’t played in a competitive NBA game in almost 19 years. Yet, at the 71st NBA All-Star game in Cleveland this past weekend, Jordan was the star of stars, as everyone still wants to “be like Mike.”

The NBA celebrated the unveiling of it’s 75th Anniversary team during the game, and Jordan was the last player announced. The six-time champion, six-time Finals MVP, five-time league MVP, 14-time All-Star, 11-time-All NBA, 10-time scoring champion and nine-time All-Defensive team member received the loudest applause of the evening. He’s widely considered the GOAT or at least one of only three men that can lay claim to that title (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James are the others).

All-Star weekend begins on Thursday evening in the host city. Jordan didn’t show up until Sunday and only then did it feel like All-Star was here. Jordan was at the Daytona 500 earlier on Sunday watching his 23XI racing team compete.

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In an arena full of basketball gods, legends, current superstars and up and comers, Jordan is a legitimate worldwide star. In one of the world’s most exclusive fraternities, he’s still the president.

People who don’t know anything about sports know the name Michael Jordan.

There was the moment at halftime when he embraced LeBron that has gone viral on social media.

Then there was the moment backstage with some of the games elder statesmen when he referred to Magic Johnson as the “old dog” and challenged Magic to a game of one-on-one.

Magic and Larry Bird might have saved the league in 1980s, but Jordan globalized the game and took it to an entirely different level. He made basketball and the NBA matter to people who don’t care about sports.

There is a grip Jordan still has on this league that the stars before him have long since relinquished. He makes grown men stop in their tracks and shrink in his presence. There is an aura about him that humbles even the most assured person.

Jordan took the torch from Magic and Bird, and while LeBron has achieved more than enough to be considered the greatest, he can’t escape the ghost that is Jordan.

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It isn’t limited to basketball either.

LeBron’s “Space Jam 2” wasn’t Jordan’s “Space Jam.” LeBron is Nike’s most important current athlete and his shoes can’t move units anywhere near what Nike’s Jordan Brand does.

There is a certain stamp or seal of approval Jordan has, and if you’re lucky enough to receive it, that’s everything.

LeBron talked about his moment with Jordan.

“I did not want to lose the opportunity to shake the man’s hand that inspired me throughout my childhood,” James said. “I haven’t had much dialogue with him in my 20 years or 19 years in this business, but part of me wouldn’t be here without MJ’s inspiration. I always wanted to be like him growing up.
“It’s crazy that the game-winning shot tonight was a fadeaway, and it was inspired by MJ. The way he wore his shoes, the way he wore his uniform, I mean, all the way down to some of the cars that he drove, how much he inspired me. I didn’t want to waste that opportunity because we’re just not in the same building a lot and haven’t been in the same building a lot throughout my career.It meant something to me.”

There it is. It’s not just about being like him. You want him to like you too. Very few people have that kind of power. Jordan is one.


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