You know what’s awesome?
Remembering watching basketball as a kid and seeing Michael Jordan, the ‘god’ of basketball, claim title after title. Seeing him overcome illness to will his team to victory. Witnessing him shed a tear after winning a title after his father died. Watching him build an empire via Nike.
You know what’s not awesome?
The bitter man who now hides behind the moniker ‘MJ’ and the Jumpman logo.
I won’t sit here and try to convince you he isn’t the greatest to ever play the game (he probably is), but give this Sports Illustrated article a read and see if it does not tarnish your opinion of Michael Jordan a bit —> A letter to Michael Jordan: Shame on you for refusing helping Pop. Don’t worry, it’s not a Thameltoe piece.
This article profiles Pop Herring, the man infamously known for ‘cutting’ Jordan in high school. Herring is not known for coaching Jordan at Laney High school in Wilmington, NC, but that’s closer to the truth. Jordan was merely placed on the JV team as a sophomore — not cut from Laney’s program as MJ implies still to this day. Sure, I bet that placement on JV was a great motivator for a young, immature (emphasis on immature) Michael. I bet he went and worked hard on his game every day to prove to Pop that he was wrong. But maybe ‘wrong’ was the improper word. Pop may have been right in the fall of Jordan’s sophomore year. What Michael Jordan should have been focusing on was proving to Pop and the world that he could be great — not that anyone was ‘wrong’ about him.
Years have passed and now Jordan is the most legendary player in the sports history. On the other hand, Pop Herring has led a life of turmoil, fueled by mental illness, and has been down and out in many different ways since Jordan left Laney High. But MJ still calls out Pop Herring for being ‘wrong’ about him and has refused to let the old man off the hook, let alone help him out. Jordan bitterly recalls his high school days and how Pop made a ‘mistake’ by
cutting placing him on JV.
Check out this article and Pop’s struggles, along with how Jordan has not matured much since his high school days. MJ has done unbelievable things on the basketball court — but he has also been a philanderer, blown tons of money gambling, and been a renowned jerk, as Pop Herring’s story shows. So take a lesson young superstars (I’m talking to you, Anthony Davis): Don’t be like Mike. At least off the court. Anyone who holds on to bitter, misplaced resentment feelings from their sophomore year of high school isn’t someone you want to admire on a personal level.
It’s sad that my favorite player and idol as a child turned out to be a lackluster human being, so here’s to hoping that my current favorite players don’t end up the same way.