Nearly three years ago, Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist admitted that owner and widely regarded as the best player to ever play, Michael Jordan, defeated him in a 1-on-1.
“He did play me 1-on-1 one time,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “And it was hard for me. I lost. I lost to a 50-year-old guy. That’s my boss, though. He’s the best player to play the game.”
A then 49-year-old Jordan defeating a 19-year-old rookie 1-on-1 is astonishing. Although Kidd-Gilchrist confirmed the story to be true, there wasn’t a video for the public to view. As a basketball fanatic, I’m sure I’m not the only person who would like to see if ‘Air Jordan’ still has game. Better yet, I would like see if all the old-heads still have game.
So why not add a ‘Legends’ game to NBA All-Star Weekend?
I was born in 1992, therefore the only opportunities I’ve been able to watch Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving’s iconic wrap around reverse layup, or Magic Johnson’s vintage behind the head no look passes, were either on ESPN’s Hardwood Classics, or YouTube. That’s it. Nothing live.
A ‘Legends’ game would not only do justice for myself as a fan, but for the ratings of All-Star Weekend and the millions of basketball fans who follow the NBA. Actually witnessing on national television if Michael Jordan still has his ‘Airness,’ if Larry Bird still has the ability to net turnaround jumpers like he did in the 80s, and if Hakeem Olajuwon, a couple of gray hairs later, still has his signature ‘Dream Shake’ move to display successfully against his fellow old-heads.
Here are the 12-man rosters, starters and reserves, I would have participating in the first annual ‘Legends’ game:
PG – Magic Johnson
SG – Clyde Drexler
SF – Charles Barkley
PF – Karl Malone
C – Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
West reserves: Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, John Stockton, Gary Payton, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin.
PG – Isiah Thomas
SG – Michael Jordan
SF – Larry Bird
PF – Kevin McHale
C – Patrick Ewing
Reserves: Scottie Pippen, Oscar Roberson, Walt Frazier, Dominique Wilkins, Tim Hardaway, Julius Erving, Dennis Rodman.
Instead of the game consisting of four 12-minute quarters as the NBA game is today, I would cut the time in half to four 6-minute quarters. That’s all that would be needed for the fans and the legends sake, as they most likely be in dire need of oxygen tanks, coolers of ice, and everything else they would need to finish the game.
There are many festivities for NBA All-Star Weekend, such as the Celebrity Game and Rising Stars Challenge played on Friday, the Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday, and the main event, the All-Star game, on Sunday. Obviously it’s time for a shakeup, cause some fans are gradually losing interest with the current events.
NBA all star weekend honestly sucks
— Jeremy Broadwater (@Jeremy_Bh2o) February 16, 2015
It sucks that I'm not nearly as excited about NBA All-Star weekend events as I was when I were younger.
— Marker Pen 🖊🖋 (@MarcusMerlot) February 14, 2015
Adding a ‘Legends’ contest to the mix would spice up All-Star Weekend. I’m sure the legends would accept the challenge as competitors to compete against their fellow Hall of Famers in a pickup game. These players probably haven’t picked up a basketball in months, perhaps years.
If the NBA ever adds a ‘Legends’ game, it would be great for the NBA to let the old guys have fun playing the game, reminiscing of the dominant players they once were, as well as having their adrenaline pumping and trash talking one another and putting forth effort in taking on a distant challenge of running up-and-down a basketball court once again.
Lets make it happen Adam Silver.