(originally posted 4/17/03)
We’ve seen Jordan retire a couple of times before, but we know this is indeed the final time. And while Madison Square Garden would have been the perfect place for his last game (for where else did he make more of an impact?), I’m glad and proud that his send off party was at the First Union Center in Philly.In retrospect, can you name a place where he would’ve gotten more love than he did last night? The kind of love that comes from being a competitor, a worker, and a winner. Sure, Chicago loves him because he brought them six championships. (Although someone might have tried to attack the referee or Doug Collins during the game.) But to be admired on an opponent’s court is the ultimate in recognition.
Philly fans are notorious for their booing. But what we boo are athletes who don’t give it their all (“For who? For What?”), athletes who were more about the glitz and the glamour than the game, athletes like…well, Kobe. We recognize and appreciate superstars of the game who work hard to get there and never give up. This is why Iverson is a perfect fit in our town.
Everything the Sixers organization did last night was first class. From inviting back Dr. J to present the gift of a customized golf cart to importing the former announcer for the Chicago Bulls to introduce Jordan for the last time, everything was perfect. The bonus was the unscripted fifteen minutes of chanting “We Want Mike” at the end of the game from the Philadelphia crowd. I honestly didn’t think MJ was going to go back into the game, but he finally gave the fans what they wanted and came back on the floor to hit two final free throws amid a flurry of flash bulbs.
When he left the court for the final time, and took a curtain call, that was one of the greatest and saddest moments in sports history. So thanks for everything, MJ, and thank you Philly fans for giving him the real F.U. Center treatment.
Flyers, please, stop this. I can’t handle three overtimes. I sat through the 5 OT game a few years ago against Pittsburg and I’m still recovering. If you outshoot the opponent 37 -10 in the first three periods, please win the game 4-1.
ESPN, I have a question. Why are you showing the Anaheim-Detroit game when the best matchup in the first round is going into triple overtime? Can anyone make a decision to switch over to the game? Sure that ANA-DET game eventually went OT too but the series was 3-0! That series only becomes exciting if Detroit comes back to tie it at 3-3. Still, love the fact that Detroit is out. Not just out, but humiliated. Swept by a team with Emilio Estevez as the coach? Sad times in Motor City. Well, at least they can be proud of The White Stripes.
Detroit: This is what you get when you try to buy yourselves another Stanley Cup. What’s that? The Flyers are trying to do the same thing? Oh, nevermind about that then.