MJ's Back

Michael is donating this year's salary to victims of the World Trade Center attacks.
Michael is donating this year's salary to victims of the World Trade Center attacks.
The Washington Wizards used to be called the Washington Bullets. Make magic, not war.
The Washington Wizards used to be called the Washington Bullets. Make magic, not war.

Okay, so he's not the same Jordan you knew from Space Jam or the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s, but MJ's still worth watching and he's a cut above any of the stiffs he has for teammates in Washington.

In his first NBA game since 1998, Michael was definitely the best player on the Wizards, but he wasn't the best player on the court during the season opener against the New York Knicks. Michael got schooled a couple of times by Latrell Sprewell, who poured in 28 points, and Michael hit just one third of his shots - most of which were medium range jump shots. There were no tomahawk jams and no spectacular drives through the lane. Knick defenders guarded him tighter than a pair of Ricky Martin's leather pants but at times, Michael looked more out of sync than a Backstreet Boys' dance routine.

In the first quarter, Michael missed an open lay-up which he surely would have taken to the rack with authority three years ago. A few moments later, he put up an air ball. You don't usually find MJ and airball in the same sentence but that's what happened. In the final minute of the game, Jordan had a chance to tie the game for the Wizards but his three-pointer, with 16 seconds left, bricked off the rim and the Wizards went down in defeat, 93 - 91. Michael finished the game with 19 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals. That's a pretty good game but Michael Jordan is held to a higher standard, so his first game seemed disappointing.

MJ is no longer the high-flying slam-master we remember from three years ago, but there will still be nights when he makes your jaw drop in disbelief. He may have lost a step but Michael was three steps ahead of everyone to begin with, so it's great to have him back.

What do you think of Michael's comeback? on MJ to Kidzworld.

More Mike

  • When Michael played for the Bulls, he always wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform for good luck.
  • Kwame Brown, who Jordan picked first overall in the 2001 draft, spent most of his first NBA game sitting on the bench, getting splinters in his butt. Kwame played just 12 minutes and scored two points.
  • After retiring from basketball for the first time in 1994, Michael spent a year playing baseball for a minor league team of the Chicago White Sox.

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