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Crusader 02-17-2013 02:57 AM

Michael Jordan has not left the building
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Five weeks before his 50th birthday, Michael Jordan sits behind his desk, overlooking a parking garage in downtown Charlotte. The cell phone in front of him buzzes with potential trades and league proposals about placing ads on jerseys. A rival wants his best players and wants to give him nothing in return. Jordan bristles. He holds a Cuban cigar in his hand. Smoking is allowed.

"Well, s---, being as I own the building," he says, laughing.

Back in the office after his vacation on a 154-foot rented yacht named Mister Terrible, he feels that relaxation slipping away. He feels pulled inward, toward his own most valuable and destructive traits. Slights roll through his mind, eating at him: worst record ever, can't build a team, absentee landlord. Jordan reads the things written about him, the fuel arriving in a packet of clips his staff prepares. He knows what people say. He needs to know, a needle for a hungry vein. There's a palpable simmering whenever you're around Jordan, as if Air Jordan is still in there, churning, trying to escape. It must be strange to be locked in combat with the ghost of your former self.

Smoke curls off the cigar. He wears slacks and a plain white dress shirt, monogrammed on the sleeve in white, understated. An ID badge hangs from one of those zip line cords on his belt, with his name on the bottom: Michael Jordan, just in case anyone didn't recognize the owner of a struggling franchise who in another life was the touchstone for a generation. There's a shudder in every child of the '80s and '90s who does the math and realizes that Michael Jordan is turning 50. Where did the years go? Jordan has trouble believing it, difficulty admitting it to himself. But he's in the mood for admissions today, and there's a look on his face, a half-smile, as he considers how far to go.

"I I always thought I would die young," he says, leaning up to rap his knuckles on the rich, dark wood of his desk.

OTL: Michael Jordan Has Not Left The Building - ESPN

This is a long but great read about Jordan.

SloMotion 02-17-2013 04:24 AM

Re: Michael Jordan has not left the building
50 is the new 40, or 30, :mrgreen:.

If Michael's coming back to play, I'm buying a ticket.

Crusader 02-17-2013 04:38 PM

Re: Michael Jordan has not left the building
Me too!

QBREES9 02-17-2013 10:21 PM

Re: Michael Jordan has not left the building
50 is the new 40, or 30, Either one I'll be happy. I'll be 50 in a month or so.

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