Frank’s Sport Court: MJ to Return?

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Co-Editor

As Michael Jordan turned the big five-zero, the rumors start once again. Can the legendary MJ make a return to the NBA at the age of 50? Yes, he can do anything he wants. But will he do it? No, he will not.

Whenever MJ’s name is brought up, it’s always attached to the same question, “Will he comeback to the NBA?” Some people will swear their lives that he will, but the logical people, including MJ himself, will shoot down the possibility in a heartbeat.

Over All-Star weekend, Charlotte Bobcats’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist announced that he had recently been beaten in a game of one-on-one by MJ. Everyone ate this up, claiming that if he can beat Kidd-Gilchrist, he can play in the NBA. Let’s think about this:

Kidd-Gilchrist is a 19-year-old rookie, averaging only nine points per game. Nine, that’s only good for four layups and a free throw. MJ averaged 30 for his entire career, a 21-point difference. Beating a young player one-on-one means absolutely nothing, nothing at all. Hearing MJ beat LeBron James in a game of one-on-one would be quite the story, not a rookie.

MJ hasn’t played in the NBA in over 10 years. During his last two seasons in the league, Jordan played for the Washington Wizards after coming out of retirement for three years. For the Wizards, Jordan averaged 22.9 and 20 PPG in 2002 and 2003. He also shot .416 and .445 from the field respectively during those two years. Those numbers were the worst in his entire career, and that was only after a three-year retirement. What makes people think he could be better after 10 years if he was significantly worse after just three?

There are so many reasons why this just won’t work. The league has changed dramatically since his departure. With athletic phenoms like LeBron, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant just to name a few, the old and overweight Jordan would get smacked around the court. People also seem to forget that Jordan is an owner of the Bobcats as well. I’m no commissioner, but I’m pretty sure in his contract, somewhere it says he can’t play in the NBA if he owns a team…but just a thought.

This isn’t saying MJ couldn’t play in the NBA, however. Granted he is about 75 pounds heavier and much, much slower than before, he could probably contribute 10 points to a team that signs him, just like Kidd-Gilchrist. No, he will not average anywhere near 20 a game, but five to 10 is better than nothing.

Just because he is capable of playing doesn’t mean he will. Jordan knows his legacy- a multi-billionaire shoe guru already in the Hall of Fame. Coming back after 10 years would be unnecessary and ultimately, an embarrassment.

Do you think he wants people to remember him as being that old man who warmed the bench or that player that changed the NBA and won 6 championships? You choose, I know MJ already did.