Published on Jan 24, 2020

Michael Jordan Background Images

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Will there ever be another Michael Jordan? Will any player ever be officially crowned the next Michael Jordan? My answer to this is the rhetorical question simple as “will there ever be another Michael Jackson?” The answer to the latter is NO of course, and it is the same to the first question as well.

As soon as Michael Jordan entered the Twilight of his career (amazingly at age 30), the search for the next MJ began. Interestingly, it was coincident with Jordan first retirement, and the media were quick to anoint Anferne “Penny” Hardaway as the potential next Jordan. Penny Hardaway was almost the same height as Jordan, and had a similar body type, but it was mostly the fact that he was drafted on 3rd position, in a draft headed by a powerful interior in Chris Webber as the 1st pick, and a potential bust as second in Shawn Bradley, that set immediate comparison between Penny and Mike. Hardaway of course had little Mike in him, and his style actually was closer to Magic than it was to Jordan.

From 1993, nearly every following draft will see the second coming of Michael Jordan; in 1994, it was grant Hill, who again was selected 3rd in the draft, and was very Marketable with his clean, well groomed image. In 1995, it was even closer, Jerry Stackhouse was the same height as Jordan (6 ft 6 in), played for the same college (North Carolina), played at the same position (Shooting Guard), and on top of it, he was also selected 3rd in his draft class. To add to the mysticism, some will also point that Jordan was selected one pick before his power forward teammate Sam Perkins, while Stackhouse was selected one pick before power forward teammate Rasheed Wallace. By all consideration, Stack should’ve been the next Jordan; unfortunately, despite some early promises, his game did not live up to the billing (he nevertheless had a very decent career). It also didn’t help that Jordan returned to the game in March 1995, furthermore exposing Stackhouse as a “fraud” in carrying the MJ mantle.

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Michael Jordan went on to dominate the NBA again from 1995 to 1998, but it was already clear that at 32, he was playing his last years in the league, thus the anticipation of finding the future torch bearer. In 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired a young teenager by the name of Kobe Bryant, who leaped directly to the NBA from High school; while showing flashes of athleticism, he really did not get serious consideration in the discussion of the next Jordan; for sure Jordan was still firmly in control.

The very real sentiment and belief that the next Michael Jordan had been found came in 1998. The league was facing a lockout, the slam dunk contest had been abolished, Jordan contract with the Bulls was over, and rumor were swirling that this was it. Jordan finally announced his retirement on January 1999, but the league hardly had time to mourn thanks to Vince Carter. Officially crowned the next Jordan, Carter took the Stackhouse “credential” to another level. He was a 6 ft 6 shooting guard coming out of North Carolina, with a shaved head and a panorama of dunks straight of the imaginary that only Jordan had been able to provide. Because of Carter, the NBA reinstated the slam Dunk contest that he won in what may be considered one of the top 2 best contests in league history. Carter brought an excitement to the league that was reminiscent of Jordan early years, and thanks to his aerial acrobatics, the were little doubts that he was “the one”; although on the West Coast, the young Kobe Bryant, still in the shadow of Shaquille O’Neal, was starting to display serious Jordan-like abilities.

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