The Next Michael Jordan

Like Mike! If I could be like Mike.

You remember that Gatorade commercial? Let me refresh your memory.

That commercial came out when I was around 6 or 7 years old. MJ was the hottest thing in professional sports. Kids everywhere used to emulate his every movement. The way he wore his clothes, his on-court mannerisms, and the way he played ball. Michael Jordan influenced throngs of children across the world. I would say his game affected over half of the guys in the NBA today. Just look at Kobe. I love the guy, but he’s almost a carbon copy of Michael.

That influence caused my love for basketball to grow exponentially.

I’ve loved hooping since I can remember. I was a Lakers fan, and my favorite player was Byron Scott when I was four years old. So much so until I wouldn’t answer to my real name. You had to call me Byron. Eventually, someone convinced me in my young age that Michael Jordan should be my favorite player. I was swayed in my young age, but my love for the game remained the same. As such, my adoration for MJ continued to soar.

I played basketball throughout high school. I could have played in college, but I had an injury that somewhat prevented my collegiate career from happening. That and pure laziness. College ball was a job if I’ve ever seen one! I don’t really play too much any more, but I’ve been getting the itch lately.

Just the other day, my homeboy tagged me and some others to this post on Facebook talking about basketball. The conversation went on for almost three days!! Reminiscing about playing each other on the court made it feel like our version of the NBA. As part of my basketball nostalgia, I reflected back on my influences. I eventually asked myself one question.

Why did I idolize these sports stars?

Michael. Kobe. Iverson. Scottie. I learned from each of them. However, I also admired their off the court lifestyle. Rich, extravagant cars. Lavish restaurants. These guys could do no wrong. The gambling. The alleged brawls. The allegations of rape and domestic violence. None of that mattered because they could hoop. Their athletic prowess overshadowed how they conducted themselves outside of their job. I then asked myself another question.

Why do we put athletes/celebrities on a pedestal?

Is it because they can sing? You better not EVER talk negative about Beyonce!! The bee-hive (Her hardcore fans seriously call themselves that -__-) will go all the in on you. She’s the best thing since Jesus in some people’s eyes which is blasphemous (in my Stephen A. Smith voice). No. I’m being for real. It was reported there was a religion dedicated to Beyonce. I don’t think Jesus would be pleased with that.

Maybe it’s because they can play (insert sport) really well? Or, because they are an excellent actor? Maybe it’s their lavish lifestyle? I mean Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. just dropped 3.5M on a new Bugatti. That must mean he’s a good guy. Right? I don’t know, but I can name at least 10 celebrities that have had serious problems in their life POST fame. Here we go.

  1. Kobe Bryant
  2. Michael Vick
  3. Ben Roethlesberger
  4. Ray Rice
  5. Adrian Peterson
  6. Kim Kardashian
  7. Martha Stewart (Oh yeah, she’s on the list!)
  8. Chris Brown
  9. Lil Wayne
  10. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

In that list of a who’s who of celebrities you have the following:

  1. Rape Allegations
  2. Dogfighting/Racketeering
  3. Rape Allegations
  4. Domestic Violence
  5. Child Abuse
  6. Too much to mention, but I’ll go with Sex Tape
  7. Insider Trading (What? Sweet ole Martha?? No!!)
  8. Domestic Violence
  9. Drug Abuse
  10. Domestic Violence

These people have/had some serious issues! Yet, people FLOCK to defend their actions. I’m guilty. I fought for Kobe and Michael Vick like I was a paid defense attorney. I do have my own theories on their cases. However, I have to realize they aren’t above being guilty of the crime. I do believe fame and money cause those who want “justice” to dig a little bit deeper. I mean if we are honest with ourselves, we know lawyers like to gain a name on a high profile case.

In any event, celebrities are idolized. I have to wonder why? They are just regular people. They may be extraordinarily good at a particular craft. Outside of that, who are they? We don’t know them no matter how many transparent interviews they give. That’s why we are shocked whenever the next person gets arrested for (insert allegation here). Yet and still, some pattern their lives after their idol. We create shows to idolize talent (The Voice, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol), and sit on the edge of our seat to see who will be the next big thing.

Why?

If there’s one person I want to pattern myself after, then it’s Jesus.

Such a meek and humble man when He walked this Earth. The only drama that was around Him was because He spoke God’s Word and people didn’t like it. That’s it.

So, no, I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan. Not anymore anyways. And it’s not because I’m well past the age of being able to make it to the NBA. It’s because I don’t want to be him or have his talent. God made me for me to be me. For that reason alone, I will strive to be like Jesus and be confident in who God makes me. I ask you this question.

Who do you want to be?

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Eddie Gilliam says:

    Great job

    Like

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