So much buzz and anticipation about last Thursday’s NBA Draft kept the Bobcats Baseline crew distracted from the saddening event just hours before Commissioner Stern took the stage at Madison Square Garden. Bobcats Minority Owner Michael Jordan lost a contemporary and a colleague in superstardom last week when Michael Jackson passed.
In the year 1992, NBA Basketball was incredibly popular and gaining attention worldwide thanks to the rise of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Yet before hoops, America’s major cultural export was Michael Jackson and anything Michael Jackson-related (including his sister Janet). At this point in history (but not HIStory), it was only natural that the two phenomena collide to create the rare coexistence of international icons upon the same stage, and court. For the music video of Michael Jackson’s single “Jam”, Bobcats Minority Owner Michael Jordan was paired with the King of Pop to share the screen in scenes contrasting each star’s respective strength. Jordan schooled Jackson in basketball, while Jackson instructed Air Jordan on the intricacies of his dance moves.
It could be debated which of the two could best excel at the other’s specialty. It’s often assumed that Michael Jackson had little time to develop his jumpshot or interior post game during his youth, considering the demands of carrying the entire Jackson 5 roster on his back. Still, his ability to distribute the ball and knack for smothering defense are easy to spot with a quick YouTube search for the Jam music video. Jackson’s competition looks a bit weak (ranging from ages 7-14, and perhaps featuring Kriss Kross), but the same excuses could be used for Minnesota’s first draft pick, Ricky Rubio.
In the video footage, Jordan seems to pick up several of Jackson’s moves but too much instruction is needed. Jordan always had great coaches in Dean Smith and Phil Jackson, so the final bonus footage really gives us some insight into the legend’s ability to learn quickly and listen to the experts. Perhaps, this type of receptivity to coaching is why Jordan sought a Hall of Fame coach in Larry Brown.
Despite Jordan’s ability to learn a few of Jackson’s stage moves, it’s apparent that Jackson had a trick shot that not even Jordan vs. Bird could create. Jacko’s Behind-The-Back-Kick-Swish will never be matched. Wikipedia notes that special effects were used for the shot, but video forensic specialists have never been able to confirm such claims.
A friend of the Bobcats family is gone. Michael Jackson will be missed.
Moving forward, we need to Remember The Time Jackson spent with us all.