Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan Week’

Schooling The Next Generation On MJ

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Like every parent of a soon-to-be-teenage boy in this day and age, I’ve been bracing myself for the conversation.

Like my father before me and his before him, I’ll have to make sense of one of life’s most important topics to a 12-year-old still grappling with the basics of why brushed teeth and at least a hint of some sort of deodorant are an absolute necessity for the middle-school male on the move.

Coming up with the right words to explain why it is time for him to decide for himself who and what makes him tick led me back my own transitional moment that saw me go from a wide-eyed kid following the lead of my father to a teenage wannabe deciding for myself that his standard of greatness might be different from my own.

In a nutshell, it’s time for him to decide whose posters and pictures go up on his bedroom wall instead of asking me to do it for him.

The most vivid reminder I have of that phase of my life, of course, is connected to the game we all love. It was one day in eighth grade that it dawned on me that Michael Jordan, and not Magic Johnson, would be the singular superstar athlete of my generation. Sure, there were other stars in other sports fighting for that title. But it was clear to most anyone with any sense at all that Jordan was well on his way to being The Man early on his in NBA career. As much as I loved Magic and was devoted to the belief that he had indeed revolutionized the game as a 6-foot-9, do-it-all point guard capable of superhuman feats, Jordan had surpassed him in my then adolescent eyes.

(Thankfully, it’s Michael Jordan Week on NBA TV, so I can let my son tune in and see for himself.)