- It is the most abstract question that’ll make my nose bleed if I even tried to comprehend all of the ramifications of eliminating Michael Jordan from the universe. Jordan did what the Patriots and Brady have to the NFL since the turn of the century. Plenty of talented teams met their ends at the hands of the Bulls lead by the tongue wagging high flyer from one of the two Carolinas.
Jordan simply a pox on the NBA. I mean, he brought them ratings, revenue and fame they still haven’t reached since his departure. I’m referring to how other teams viewed him. Alternative history views M.J as Hulk Hogan, someone who always won to the delight of everyone. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. People don’t like it when someone stays on top for too long. Human beings are naturally haters of success. If you enjoy getting your face stomped in by the same guy, or hitch your wagon to him as a follower of his cult, like we’ve seen with LeBron James, basically, you suck and go against what sports is all about.
Sports is about needless pain inflicted on oneself in the chase for the fleeting sensation of ecstasy when they happen to accomplish something of significance. We are aware the achievements of rich individuals who aren’t aware of our existence isn’t ours to begin with, but we pretend for the sake of playing along and wrapping ourselves up in their struggles.
If M.J never existed the NBA is more egalitarian and less famous. Hall of Famers who retired without championships no longer are ring-less. The United States never allows it’s professional athletes to participate in the Olympics. David Stern can’t promote Charles Barkley like he did Jordan. Barkley never could keep his foul mouth in check and his attitude didn’t match Jordan as the other one who’d sell you a McDonalds happy meal. With the retirement of smiley Magic Johnson in 1991, the NBA is surely primed to enter the dark ages similar to what it experienced in the 1970’s.
While the aesthetic of the game would remain pleasing, probably even better because scouts fixated themselves on finding the next Jordan, fans aren’t watching Karl Malone on the West Coast and could give less of a shit to see Patrick Ewing in New York. As great as they are, people just don’t care. The NBA’s never been short on talent. But finding someone supremely marketable like M.J. comes once every decade or so.
On the bright side, Larry Bird gets an extra MVP in 1988; David Robinson wins two more in ‘91 and ‘96; Malone in ‘98, and Drexler in ‘92.
The Knicks, Suns, Magic, Jazz and Pacers likely win a finals with M.J out of their way. Drastically reshaping their perceptions. Remember how the narrative around Dirk Nowitzki was remolded after his 2011 championship? Imagine that with Ewing, Barkley, Shaq & Penny, Stockton & Malone, and Reggie?
- I prefer that reality to this current one. Dynasties are garbage and usually do nothing to grow the game. In football it’s different. Fans will tune in to see any team play. They know how to advertise their game. The NBA simply don’t and when they do grow in popularity it becomes unbearable and breeds idiocy masquerading as intelligence.
Give me an egalitarian NBA where the sycophants don’t know who to support and keep fans supporters or their respective teams, not of just one guy.