Have you ever watched a movie with a seemingly &picture-perfect& ending, but with a looming hint that the story is not over?
Well, folks, there may be a sequel coming out of the NBA real soon.
Its title 8212; &Michael Strikes Again.&
Believe it or not, rumors have run amok among sport writers and fanatics that Air Jordan may head back to the courts 8212; and he wouldn&t be alone.
His good friend, former Houston Rocket Charles Barkley, could join him in this crazy stunt.
But is this move really that crazy?
To most, &yes& seems to be the obvious answer.Why would anyone choose to come out of retirement and risk injury 8212; not to mention criticism 8212; just to play?
Bear in mind 8212; we&re talking about His Airness here.To him, it&s definitely not about the Benjamins.
Many sportswriters have analyzed this puzzling question for the last week, dissecting every word coming out of Jordan&s mouth on the issue.
And the consensus of the barrage of articles about a possible third coming of Jordan seems to be a negative one.
Some even fear that his beloved new neighbors 8212; like Philadelphia&s Allen Iverson 8212; in the NBA might disrespect him.
&I would hate to see His Airness be snarled at by His Scareness,& Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly said.
If you ask me, that&s something for Jordan to worry about 8212; not the fans and the writers.
The media is focusing on the wrong thing.It&s all dwelling on the &why& and worrying about the possibility of a fairy tale turning sour.
&Why would Jordan tarnish all that he has accomplished?& Bob Cousy said in the New York Times.&What does Michael have to gain from coming back?&
I&ll tell you what 8212; his inner peace and happiness. Sure, laugh all you want, but despite being a superman on the court, Jordan is human, after all. And my spin on things is that maybe he isn&t really happy right now.
Despite being part owner of the Washington Wizards, playing golf daily with friends and vacationing all over the world, Jordan has a vacuum in his life right now.His love of competition and of basketball cannot be fulfilled by just owning a team.
And this is no surprise.
Wasn&t his passion, hunger and drive apparent when he first came back to the NBA in 1996?
Also, Jordan likes to have fun, and he likes to play ball with his friends. So what&s wrong with him taking advantage of this opportunity to do just that?
Besides he has never had a chance to be allies with Barkley 8212; one of his closest buds 8212; during his career.
To me, one of the hardest things an athlete confronts is the end of his or her career 8212; the moment when it is time to walk away from the game that he or she truly loves.
I think Jordan isn&t really ready to face that time yet. And in my eyes, it&s not only okay 8212; it is admirable.
Success is not only a measure of achievement, but it is also a measure of happiness.
If you are not happy, you are not truly successful.
Most athletes who are ready for retirement are content with moving away from the past and living on memories of the things they have accomplished.
But some athletes, who only think they are ready to move on, are still living in the past 8212; still believing that they can do more.
Often, the only thing that keeps retirees from coming back is fear.
Fear that journalists and fans would criticize and cast shame 8212; something not dissimiliar to what&s happening to Jordan right now.
&Air& Jordan is one of the few people who appears to lack that fear, or at least just has less of it.
He realizes that at this point of his life, he may not be ready to stop playing and he still has more living to do.
Whether he would be a great contributor to the sport is secondary. He just wants to make himself happy.
And instead of hanging on his every word and dwelling on the fairy tale ending, we should simply admire the love he has for basketball.
Most importantly, we should praise his courage to realize his desires.
After all, life is short.
Instead of just thinking and wanting, maybe we should try what His Airness endorses 8212; &Just do it.&