Just Saying, Is All… | Michael Jordan’s Lost Decade

December 31st, 2009 by Ryan Alberti Leave a reply »
Sometimes your own shoes are the hardest to fill.

Michael Jordan is a living legend. He’s also, lately, a bit of a letdown. In the 11 years since his second Chicago Bulls retirement, Jordan has struggled to stay relevant in the new NBA—which would be more disheartening news if it weren’t so of a piece with America’s standing in the new geopolitical order.

Dominance means having your way in a moment of conflict.

Decline, on other hand, means losing it in a millennium of peace.

I’d never dream of denouncing His Airness. Jordan’s career stats speak for themselves, and he may yet make contenders of the Charlotte Bobcats. But conquerors aren’t supposed to settle for mere contention. In a league that cherishes historical excellence, there’s no champion more out of place than the one mired in contemporary mediocrity.

A hero needs wars to win.

A hegemon needs rivals to rule.

If there’s a silver lining to Jordan’s recent frustrations, it’s simply that they make him a distinctly postmodern American icon.

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