April 14, 2003

Miami Heat retire a jersey, finally.: And no, it's not Alonzo. WTF?

Jordan, who has sold everything but stood for nothing, is not Jackie Robinson, whose number was posthumously retired by baseball. Jordan was a majestic ambassador for his sport and an accomplished underwear and sneaker salesman, but a coach who fines players for helping up opponents after knocking them down ought not be retiring an opponent's number before this franchise has retired any of its own. But when you have no history of your own, maybe you have to borrow someone else's.

posted by vito90 to basketball at 09:02 AM - 10 comments

Tacky. Reeks of desperation.

posted by Succa at 10:02 AM on April 14

MJ makes us a basketball town on night Heat retires his No. 23 Wow, what a demoralising headline for your team to read. I know the Heat have never really been all that great, but damn, that's harsh. This sets a pretty lame precedent too. Maybe it's because I've never been a fan of Jordan (although I've always owned up to his skills, I've just never personally found a reason to root for the guy) but I don't like this at all, and I would hate to see other teams (Bulls, Wiz excluded) follow suit. Hell, even the Wiz doing it might be questionable. He hasn't helped them all that much, has he?

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:28 AM on April 14

Yeah, I remember when that was on sportscenter a couple of nights ago, thinking those very thoughts: What. the. Fuck. Heat?! As Vito90 quoted, this is not Jackie Robinson; Jordan has pioneered nothing in sports but the endorsement heavy lifestyle of modern players, and outside the arena when his mere voice could have quashed Nike's labor exploitation in the pacific rim, or any of a number of causes he might have embraced to great success, he remained (and remains) silent. Extraordinary player, but entirely unextraordinary as a human being. More pointedly, is this unprecedented in sports history? Has any team ever retired a number for a player who never even played for them?!? In Robinson's case, it wasn't individual teams that retired the number, it was MLB and with more historic reason. Had David Stern and the NBA declared 23 permanently retired, that might have been different (who knows, maybe they will). But for Miami to do this, unilaterally, with no good reason? That's some whack shit, yo. If I were a Heat fan or a player, I'd be mighty insulted, and wondering what ass-clown in marketing thought this would be a good idea.

posted by hincandenza at 11:08 AM on April 14

If they were to retire Jordan's number, why not Bird's, Magic's, Dr. J's and probably a slew full of others who shaped the game that Jordan perfected? Just doing this would be like having American bills reprinted with the most recent Presidents.

posted by jasonspaceman at 11:50 AM on April 14

wtf? Which brain-dead marketing genius came up with this? Damn. Miami Heat should be retired as a team for this stunt.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:24 PM on April 14

Add me to the list -- it reminds me of Pat Riley's lame attempt to trademark the term "threepeat" when the Lakers had just won their second title in a row. Within his chest beats the heart of a marketing dweeb. If I was a Miami Heat fan, I would be concerned that Riley's act of competitive sports sacrilege would curse my team long after his departure. This is the kind of thing Touchdown Jesus will not countenance.

posted by rcade at 02:48 PM on April 14

Man, are you guys missing the big picture here. Moribund, pathetic franchises retiring the numbers of once great players – who never actually played for them? Pure Genius. Why do you think the Cards signed Emmitt? Because of his recent running dominance? Hell no. They just wanted to be able to retire a number - any number…please. Imagine how hard Bidwell’s kicking himself knowing he could have just retired Smith’s number in absentia. Riles is the man. He actually owns a patent on the process – next month, when the Devil Rays retire both Bonds and Clemens numbers - Ka-ching!

posted by kloeprich at 02:58 PM on April 14

Folks, what did you expect? Isn't this the same team that gave out fortune cookies when Yao Ming came to town?

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:03 PM on April 14

Jordan was surprised by the gesture. But he also thought all the pregame hoopla might have been a psychological ploy by Riley, a longtime nemesis. "I thought Pat was trying to get my mind thinking about all the accolades, and then next thing you know, I forget about the game," Jordan said. "I said, 'I ain't going to fall for that.' I got out of the blocks quick and I got into a good rhythm."

posted by thatweirdguy2 at 10:47 PM on April 14

Jordan was surprised by the gesture. But he also thought all the pregame hoopla might have been a psychological ploy by Riley, a longtime nemesis. I'm glad you quoted that, weirdguy, b/c I thought it very strange that Riley of all people would be the guy to give it to Jordan. Seems like a match made in the fourth circle of hell.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:46 PM on April 14

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