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The Slippery Essence of Michael Jordan

March 8, 2012

Love this commercial, “Look into my eyes.” Nike, Jordan, Jumpman brand.

MJ never loses the greatness. I know the term G.O.A.T. was originally made for the one and only Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay, birthname), but MJ is the G.O.A.T. of my generation. There’s room on Mount Goatmore for them both. There’s still something that is sharpened, honed, tapped into when I watch MJ — just like when I was like 10, 11 years old. Here’s just one of his old commercials. If someone else did the exact commercial ~ tabla raza — blank slate ~ nada. Okay, there’d be some effect, some imprint left by whoever you slid in, but the meaning and intent of the whole thing couldn’t come near striking the cord MJ does, obviously. But, the difference is notable because of the amount and type of the difference (‘amount and type’, analogous to any philosophy of dualist complimentary concepts, e.g., ‘breadth and depth’, ‘size and speed’, ‘substance and style’, ‘quantity and quality’, etc.). There’s something so uniquely different with MJ. It’s hard to explain, and although I watched, taped, studied in slow-motion, practiced, thought about, and read as much as Jordan as anybody possibly could (cue the used and abused basketball/sports motivational phrase, “there’s always somebody out there that’s working/practicing more than you.”), I’ve never read or heard anyone really come close to really express it well, get it right. Part of it’s that they don’t really get it, understand it in the first place. Conversely*, if they actually do ‘get’ the real MJ — the essential sum all of the G.O.A.T. — they’re not able to express it, haven’t tried, or I just haven’t seen it. 

Time to take my shot (ha, get it — okay, that’s bad). The ideas are marinating. Soon enough. I’m drawing up the play (“Don’t get caught watching the paint dry.” Hoosiers).

*Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star kicks, still as fresh as they were in the ’50s/60s(?). Always.


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