Tag:Michael Jordan
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 11:25 pm

Jordan, Bird, Magic on NBA 2K12 covers

Posted by Ben Golliver.


NBA legend Michael Jordan graced the cover of NBA 2K11 last year and, by all accounts, that decision was a smash success, as the game reportedly sold more than five million copies internationally. 

As a follow-up, 2K Sports will be putting the Chicago Bulls guard on the cover of this year's edition, NBA2K12, along with two other extremely recognizable faces: Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird and Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson. That's right: triple the pleasure, triple the fun. 

USAToday.com has more

Each athlete will be featured on their own separate cover when the game launches October 4.

"Jordan was such a success for us, and even if we wanted to do something different, the fans would never let us do it," says 2K vice president of marketing Jason Argent of His Airness' involvement with NBA 2K last year. "The feedback has been so positive."

Argent says 2K is "working on a potential solution" for consumers who buy a copy of NBA 2K12 with one cover but want to collect the other two versions.

CNN.com reports that the triple cover concept could be a first for a sports video game.
Argent said the three covers for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will be shipped in equal numbers to each retail location in the U.S. He said all other platform versions and non-U.S. locations will only get the Jordan cover. 

"The idea was to keep doing things bigger and better and continue to shake things up."

Argent said he thought the multicover approach was a first in the sports video game genre and extends the strong legacy established by "NBA 2K11." Last year's game sold more than 5 million units worldwide and won 14 Sports Game of the Year honors.
Each of the covers -- pictured above -- features an action shot of the Hall of Famer performing a signature move. Jordan is shown driving to the rim; Bird is pictured shooting a pull-up jumper; Johnson is swinging through with a baby hook shot. Each player's name and jersey number appears at the bottom.

An interesting question: How much was the decision to use the trio influenced by the fact that the NBA is currently in a lockout that could easily extend well past the game's launch date? Was it safer to pick NBA legends to avoid a controversy or is this simply a testament to Jordan's massive, enduring popularity? 

Original pictures via Darren Rovell on Lockerz.com

Posted on: July 18, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Michael Jordan can still dunk at 48 video

NBA legend Michael Jordan can still dunk a basketball at 48 years old. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Michael Jordan can still dunk a basketball. I don't want to think about a day in which those words cannot be said.

The NBA legend, and current owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, showed that the best player in the history of basketball, the man who transformed the dunk from two points to a billion dollar logo, still has something left in the tank.

Bobcats.com reports that Jordan, dressed in a white t-shirt and grey sweats, displayed his signature flushing ability during a Monday session of the Charlotte Bobcats fantasy camp.
In the morning session of Bobcats Fantasy Camp on July 18, 2011, one girl asked Chairman Michael Jordan if he could still dunk. In the evening session, he showed some of the adults he indeed still could at 48 years young. 
Jordan is nine years removed from his last season as a professional, when he laced them up for the Washington Wizards in 2002-2003 at the age of 39. A long-time star for the Chicago Bulls and Naismith Hall of Famer, Jordan was listed at 6-foot-6.

Let's crunch some numbers. JumpUSA.com lists Jordan's standing reach at eight to 10 feet while noting that you need to be able to touch four to six inches above the rim to dunk a ball. So we can calculate (estimate) that Jordan has, at minimum, an 18" vertical leap. Pretty solid given that he is pushing 50 years old. In case you were wondering, the site lists his highest measured vertical at 43".

Here's the video of Michael Jordan dunking a basketball at age 48, courtesy of YouTube user TheNewLakers. The original video on Bobcats.com can be found at this link

Below is a frame-by-frame look at Jordan's one-handed, rim-rocking handiwork. 

Posted on: July 14, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 1:40 pm

NBA warns Michael Jordan not to golf with players

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan would reportedly face a $1 million fine for golfing with NBA players. Posted by Ben Golliver.


Losing seven figures on a golf course. Just another weekend for NBA legend and notorious gambler Michael Jordan, right? 

Not quite. This million dollar hit comes with a twist: the NBA would be pocketing the cash.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is scheduled to play in the American Century Classic celebrity golf tournament. The only problem? So are a handful of NBA players, and the league has made it clear that team executives are not to have any contact with players during the ongoing lockout unless they're willing to stomach a $1 million fine. 
Jordan, who became the first former player to own an NBA team when he purchased the Charlotte Bobcats outright last year, faces a fine of $1 million if he plays a round of golf at the ACC with a current NBA player.

Jordan called the NBA on Tuesday to check in, and the NBA confirmed he would be fined if he played with a current NBA player.
The tournament's website notes that Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette, Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd and New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams are all scheduled to participate.

Again, the rule comes off a bit silly and petty, but it's the rule. A round of golf would represent hours of contact and there is sure to be plenty of media in attendance. Two guys yucking it up as they putt out doesn't quite jive with the league's public blackout policy towards its player institute on July 1. 

This warning to Jordan is the latest in a string of potentially fineable situations involving team employees and current players.

Earlier this week, we noted a report that Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan was warned for comments made about Las Vegas Summer League. Also this week, Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn called a press conference to fire coach Kurt Rambis and mentioned multiple players during the question-and-answer session with media members. And, on Wednesday night, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban attended the ESPYs with his team, although the league clarified that the contact had been pre-approved on the condition that no league business or CBA discussion would take place.

Since the lockout began on July 1, the NBA has yet to publicly issue a fine to a team executive who violates its gag order policy. 

Hat tip: Ball Don't Lie
Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:09 pm

What teams risk in a lockout: Southeast Division

Posted by Royce Young

Talk of losing an entire season is a bit ridiculous to me. There's just way too much at stake. Money, momentum, fan support, money, loyalty, money -- it's just hard to imagine losing any games much less a whole season.

But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise. Let's start with the Southeast Division.

The biggest question hovering over the Magic isn't about wins and losses or if Gilbert Arenas should stop tweeting. It's all about Dwight Howard's future and July 1, 2012. That's when Howard will become an unrestricted free agent. General manager Otis Smith has already said he won't trade Howard, but that could just be talk. Howard has said he wants to be in Orlando, but hasn't committed, turning down a three-year extension.

But if NBA offices are shut down and all transactions are halted, Howard might be forced to stay with the Magic all season -- except he won't play a game. Meaning Orlando could lose out on A) having a team good enough to convince Howard he wants to stay because he can win there; B) the Magic won't have an opportunity to trade Howard and get a Carmelo-like deal where they can restock the roster instead of letting him walk with nothing in return; or C) the Magic miss out on at least one more year with Howard meaning they miss out on a chance of having a good team that can compete. That's a lot to think about if this lockout starts stretching into 2012.

It's simple and very obvious for owner Micky Arison and the Heat: Lose the 2011-12 season and that's one less year you have of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. That's one less year of the spotlight, the attention and all that money funneling right into South Beach. That's one less shot at a title. That's one less season of constant sellouts, through-the-roof merchandise sales and huge TV ratings.

Basically, it's one less season of $$$$$. And one big reason for Arison to be an owner willing to bargain.

The Hawks are in pretty solid shape right now. After the 2011-12 season, they only have six players under contract, including all their big names (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and uh, Marvin Williams I guess).

But a prolonged lockout could simmer the momentum built from last season's deep playoff run. The roster still isn't quite there and a resolution on what to do with Smith has to be figured out. The earlier he's traded means the more he's worth. Losing that opportunity is bad news for the Hawks, even if they choose to keep Smith.

But on the bright side, it is one less season of overpaying Joe Johnson.

The Bobcats aren't really going anywhere this year, or even next year. The roster needs work. It needs more talent, more ability and better structure.

But the Bobcats used two lottery picks on Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker, meaning there's a little jolt of young talent on the roster, which is exactly the direction Rich Cho is looking to take them. Younger, faster and a path to building, not just hanging on with marginal veteran talent.

A year without basketball for the Bobcats means a year of stunted growth. These guys need to play together every second they can and I don't just mean on a blacktop in Greensboro. Even if they lose 60 games, that's progress. But they need to be on the court to even have the chance to learn through losing.

Michael Jordan was a player (if you didn't know). I don't know if that means he's on the players' side because I'm sure he also wants a system that helps his franchise competitively and one that helps him make money, but at the same time, I think he cares more about winning and playing than all the rest.

It's the same story for the Wizards too. John Wall, new pick Jan Vesely, Nick Young and JaVale McGee are all young guys that just get better every night they play.

The bright side though is that Rashard Lewis is owed $21.1 million next season and that could be money well not spent. Which is why Ted Leonsis, an NHL owner who has been through an extremely painful lockout, probably isn't all that worried about things like stunted growth when there's money to be saved and made. The Wizards aren't on the path to prosperity right now and are likely one of the teams hemorrhaging a little dough. The Wizards risk setting back their development, but I think that's a price Leonsis would be willing to pay.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 9:01 pm

Read Michael Jordan's high school love letter

Posted by Royce Young

Michael Jordan is the greatest ever. Even Scottie Pippen realizes that now.

But he wasn't always. There's that famous story about Jordan getting cut from his varsity team at Laney High School and using that as motivation to kill everyone he ever encountered on the basketball court. Well, maybe we found the reason he didn't make it. He was distracted. By some girl named Laquette or as MJ called her, "My dearest Laquette."

Yes, that really is a high school love letter written by His Airness. The letter was sold at an auction in December 2004, for $5,100.66 and was posted Thursday on the site Letters of Note, thus revealing it to the world.

If you can't read MJ's flowing cursive penmanship, here's the full text:
My Dearest Laquette

How are you and your family doing, fine I hope. I am in my Adv. Chemistry class writing you a letter, so that tell you how much I care for you. I decide to write you because I felt that I made you look pretty rotten after the last night. I want to tell you that I am sorry, and hope that you except my apologie. I know that you feelings was hurt whenever I loss my necklace or had it stolen.

I was really happy when you gave me my honest coin money that I won off the bet. I want to thank you for letting me hold your annual. I show it to everyone at school. Everyone think you are a very pretty young lady and I had to agree because it is very true. Please don't let this go to your head. (smile) I sorry to say that I can't go to the game on my birthday because my father is taking the whole basketball team out to eat on my birthday. Please don't be mad because I am trying get down there a week from Feb. 14. If I do get the chance to come please have some activity for us to do together.

I want you to know that my feeling for you has not change yet. ← (joke) I am finally getting use to going with a girl much smaller than I. I hope you my hint. Well I have spent my time very wisely by write to you. I hope you write back soon. Well I must go, the period is almost over. See you next time around, which I hope comes soon.

With my Best Love

Michael J. Jordan

Wonder how Laquette feels these days? MJ was evidently pretty apologetic about losing something but really happy she gave him honest coin money that he won off a bet (see his gambling problem started early!).

Pretty crazy to read now, since, you know, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all-time. But back in high school, he was just a cheesy kid writing love letters in Advaned Chemistry.


Category: NBA
Posted on: June 15, 2011 10:21 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 10:37 pm

Amar'e: MJ connected with people, LeBron doesn't

New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire says Michael Jordan connected with people but LeBron James doesn't. Posted by Ben Golliver. amare-stoudemire

I had no idea that New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire was such a sage public relations guru.

After LeBron James lost the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, he caused a bit of a flap when he said: "All the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before ... I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that." 

A few days later, after some immense criticism, James wisely walked those statements back.

Enter Stoudemire, who sees these comments as a fundamental flaw for James and a major differentiating point between him and former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan. Here are his comments, delivered to the New York Times:
“I think you have to conduct yourself in a way that people can relate to you,” said Stoudemire, who led the Knicks back to the playoffs this season after the team posted its first winning record (42-40) in 10 years. “The more they can relate to you, the more they will appreciate you.” 

“Everybody has their own way of commenting on things, but I would have commented differently,” Stoudemire said. “One thing about Michael Jordan was that no matter how great he was and how much of a platform he stood on, he still related to all the hard workers out there in the world. 

“I think LeBron is still young,” Stoudemire added, “and there is still time for him to reconnect with the public.”
Stoudemire couldn't be more right. He's highlighted the base level difference between Jordan and James. 

In a way, his point goes back to the recent news that James refers to himself as "King" when he text messages other NBA players. Not only does James struggle to connect with the working man, he struggles to connect with reality. He has earned so much money and had the world at his fingertips for so long -- half his life -- that it's quite possible, despite Stoudemire's hope, that James will never be able to reconnect with the average person.

Sure, winning would go a long way to help boost his popularity, but won't a title simply cause more people to idolize him or despise him rather than bridging the gap? Has he reached a level of polarizing fame where there is no turning back? It sure feels that way.

Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:17 am

Rich Cho hired as Bobcats GM

Posted by Royce Young

The Bobcats announced that they have hired former Portland general manager Rich Cho as the organization's new GM. Cho replaces Rod Higgins as the team's GM, with Higgins moving up to President of Basketball Operations.

Cho got his start in basketball management with the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, eventually assuming the No. 2 role behind Sam Presti before taking the Trail Blazers position. However, Cho parted ways with the Blazers last month because of what were called "chemistry issues" with owner Paul Allen, 

A smart basketball excecutive like Cho wasn't going to go unemployed for long, though. He was immediately considered a candidate in New York after Donnie Walsh didn't come to an agreement with the Knicks. The Bobcats position wasn't really open but evidently Michael Jordan put in a call pretty quickly to swoop up Cho.

Cho's known for his analytical approach to the game. He was an engineer and a lawyer before moving into NBA front offices. He was responsible for contract negotiations, salary cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement matters, player contracts and all player personnel issues.

Cho is a native of the Pacific Northwest and a member of the Washington State Bar, a graduate of Pepperdine Law School and achieved his undergraduate at Washington State University.

“He has a unique set of skills that I don’t possess,” Higgins told the Charlotte Observer. “His analytical mind is a big plus for us. His legal background is a big plus for us."

Cho of course has a connection to the Bobcats having negotiated with Higgins at the trade deadline last season. The Blazers acquired Gerald Wallace for Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two draft picks. Higgins must've come away impressed. At least someone was.

Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:29 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 9:27 pm

LeBron calls himself 'King James' in texts?

LeBron James reportedly refers to himself as "King James" when he text messages his fellow NBA players. Posted by Ben Golliver. lebron-james

Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James said this week that he's used to having his every move and word scrutinized. Whenever he sends a somewhat meaningful tweet, as he did before Game 5, he answers question after question about it.

Here's a new level of access to his personal life.

The Washington Post reports that an NBA player claims James refers to himself as "King James" when he sends text messages.
For example, a player recently told me LeBron had contacted him about possibly joining forces in the offseason, though he was cryptic about where he actually might play. The text began: “Yo, this is King James.”

“I was like, ‘Give me a break. You’re going to call yourself that?’" the player said, on condition that his name not be used.

“Do you think Michael Jordan texts people by starting with, ‘Yo, this is His Airness.’ Come on, get over yourself.”

This report makes it sound like James inhabits a Neverland Ranch bubble, where his persona is the entire universe. 

The player makes an interesting contrast between James and Jordan. James had national success at a much younger age than Jordan, and the system that surrounds young high school stars was much more sophisticated (not to mention loaded with cash) when he came up through the ranks than it was when Jordan burst onto the scene in the early 1980s.

As extraordinary as Jordan was as a high school senior and as a freshman at UNC, he wasn't driving a Hummer, getting thousands of dollars of free throwback jerseys and having his high school games televised on ESPN. 

Throughout his career, Jordan could be "His Airness," but he also maintained a more personable "M.J." identity too. The guy who liked to play cards with his buddies, party late and gamble on golf. He was possibly the most famous person in the world, but fans could conceive of him as a human with "regular guy" interests.

No such luck with James. He's in his own planet, much closer to Michael Jackson -- the grown up child star -- than Jordan. The bad news for James? He's missing out on the rest of the world. The good news? He gets to be the King of his castle.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com