Jordan turns 50: Five gift suggestions
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
What do you get the greatest ever?
Michael Jordan turns 50 on Sunday, so friends, relatives and obsessive fans are stuck asking themselves that question. Jordan seemingly has it all: money, fame, a dream job as NBA team owner and the respect of everyone in his world.
Jordan, who now is majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s (do we really need to remind you of that?), might not want for much these days, but we figured we could help in a unique way. First, you might need a time machine.
Here we go, taking a trip through Jordan’s basketball past to figure out what to get him at pivotal points in his life:
Jordan the teenager: An earlier growth spurt
We’ve all heard the story of how Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore. The primary reason was because he was short, a 5-10 scoring guard. Jordan grew to be 6-6 by the time he hit the University of North Carolina, and he would have been the star of the 1978-79 Laney (Wilmington, N.C.) boys’ basketball team had he been even close to that tall at age 15. The downside to this gift, of course, is Jordan used the snub to motivate him the rest of his life. But a hyper-competitive guy would find something else to fuel him.
Jordan the college standout: A friendlier ref
Jordan’s greatest single-game regret might be UNC’s loss to Indiana in the 1984 NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels were the top-ranked team in the country, boasting a 28-2 record entering the Sweet 16 game. But Jordan, the consensus National Player of the Year, picked up a few early fouls and never found a rhythm, finishing with 13 points in his final college game. The whole thing swung on those foul calls, though, as Dean Smith sat Jordan for a big chunk of the first half. USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Lopresti wrote about the game in 2009, with Jordan telling him, “I thought we were the best team in the country, but in … [For more on Michael Jordan turns 50: Five birthday gift suggestions, click here.]