When Michael Jordan, by most accounts the greatest NBA player of all time, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, he jested that you might see him playing in the league at 50 years old. As the crowd at the ceremony then began to laugh, Jordan looked out and said “Don’t laugh.”
In February of this year, Jordan turned 50 years old. We haven’t seen him in the league since that speech, but Grantland and ESPN’s Jalen Rose seems to think that we might. While doing an NBA preview with Bill Simmons, Rose predicted that Jordan will play one game for the Charlotte Bobcats, the team that Jordan holds majority ownership of, in the 2013-2014 season.
Based on the person that Jordan is and the traits that he displayed in his career and after it, him coming back to play one more game actually wouldn’t be that surprising. Jordan’s competitiveness is legendarily at near psychopathic levels. It doesn’t take much to get him motivated to prove you wrong, which is one of the reasons he was able to reach the heights that he did.
Despite his nature, though, a Jordan comeback in 2013 or 2014 isn’t going to happen. It’s not because Jordan won’t want to or because Jordan couldn’t last for one game. However, it is because the logistics of it simply aren’t worth it for one game.
There is a simple rule that has been in place for years that says that owners can’t play in the NBA, cut and dry. Simmons does mention that the league could give Jordan a waiver, but, as Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie pointed out, there’s no way that’s happening, not even for the greatest to ever play the game.
As a guy who grew up watching VHS tapes of Jordan, the thought of him coming back, even at 50 years old, has me salivating. However, it’s only a pipe-dream, because there’s no way it’s happening.
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