A Michael Jordan Tribute

Remembering Michael Jordan's Final NBA Game

Michael JordanMichael Jordan, the greatest basketball player ever, played his final game of his spectacular NBA career April 16th in Philadelphia. This time his final shot ended with a free throw, not a championship like his second retirement in 1998. Wednesday was all about Michael Jordan, and everyone paid tribute and respect to the man that has transformed the NBA to what it is today. "I told him, 'If he wants to play 48 and shoot 50 times, go ahead.' It's his night," says Collins before the game. During the pregame warm-up, Eric Snow grabbed the microphone, "Hey Mike -- what's up, Mike," Snow says,"we want to let you know how special you are to the Philly fans. We want to send you off with a nice gift. And thank you for the incredible gift you've given to the game of basketball." Dr. J and Moses Malone drove in a shiny new green golf cart, with the Jumpman logo on the hood and No. 23 with both the Wizards and Bulls logos on the license plates.Michael JordanThe Sixers also gave Jordan a big introduction by the former Chicago Bulls public address announcer Ray Clay, "From North Carolina ... a 6-6 guard ... No. 23 ... MI-CHAEL JOR-DAN!" Jordan was given a three minute standing ovation before they moved on to the Sixers introduction. "Basketball has been my life," Jordan said. "No way you would ever have come in contact with me without the game of basketball. No way would I have been in contact with a lot of other people without the game of basketball. It gave me an outlet. It gave me a chance to experience life all over the world, not just here in the States. It taught me a lot of things about life in terms of respect, hard work, determination, achievement, setting goals, a lot of basic things in life." Jordan said, "I've used the game as much as the game has used me, as a method of teaching the game and passing on the correct way to play the game. It obviously gave me a lot of Michael Jordanopportunities in terms of materialistic things as well as being able to touch people's lives. We've been a great relationship. It's been like my best friend, but sometimes you have to grow up and move away from your best friend. It's always going to be there in my mind and nothing is going to erase what I have attained just by having basketball as a friend." After scoring 13 points, Jordan went to the bench with 4:13 to go in the third quarter. As the game wore on, it appeared as if we had seen the last of Jordan on the floor. The crowd continued to chant "we want Mike!" but it appeared he would not return. With 2:35 left in the fourth quarter, and the game already in the hands of the Sixers, Jordan returned to the court with a load applause from the fans. Jordan was fouled by Snow to put him on the line, where he sank his final two points of his 15-year career. "I didn't think I would go back into the game," Jordan said. "They wanted to see me make a couple baskets and come off. That was very respectful. I had a good time. Obviously, I would have much rather have won the game, but I had a good time. Now I guess it hits me that I am not going to be in a uniform anymore, and that's not a terrible feeling," Jordan said. "It's not terrible. It's something that I have come to grips with and it's time." In the upcoming week there will be some meetings between Jordan and Pollin, and his future with the Wizards. But for now, it's time for Jordan to walk off into the sunset, his legacy untarnished, and finally Michael Jordan can leave the game of basketball on his own terms....Thanks Mike!

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