If you were looking for “the next Michael Jordan” on the NBA hardwood, then you missed him entirely.
The debate has gone on for as long as Michael Jordan‘s been retired. Every time anyone walks through the NBA that shares his athleticism or natural gifts we want to anoint that person “the next Michael Jordan”. Two have come close (in the NBA), Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Here’s something that you may have gone through life or your love for sports without thinking about. The heir apparent to “Air” Jordan didn’t play basketball at all. He played baseball, and his name was Derek Jeter.
For those of you who still debate whether or not Jordan’s the greatest NBA star of all time, I’ll settle this for you. He is. There are a few guys in the NBA Hall of Fame right now that didn’t ever reach their goals of winning a championship because they kept running into number 23. If you need further proof, think of all of this a different way. Would Kawhi Leonard ever show up to a press conference wearing a Steph Curry jersey? Probably not. Did you ever see Shaquille O’Neal rocking Kobe Bryant‘s athletic sneaker? Nope.
Here’s what you did see. You saw one man walk through sports and change its’ entire dynamic. You saw the greatest athletes of their respective calling all pay homage to the greatest athlete to ever play the game of basketball. Roy Jones, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and countless others have all rocked Jordan’s gear or shown up for competition wearing his shoes. Jordan hasn’t played basketball in almost fifteen years, and he still has the number one athletic shoe on the market.
Lebron James wears the number 23 into battle night after night. Who inspired him to wear it? Who’s your favorite ball player’s favorite ball player?
Let’s settle this once and for all.
Jordan sits in an area that no one else sits in because all athletes, regardless of the sport they play, acknowledge him and look up to him. I’ve never seen Peyton Manning wear Tom Brady‘s Jersey, but I’ve seen both in a pair of Jordans. From a basketball standpoint, Kobe Bryant is the closest thing we’ve seen to Jordan athletically. Lebron James is the closest thing we’ve seen to his dominance.
DEREK JETER, HOWEVER, WAS “THE NEXT MICHAEL JORDAN”. Some of you just missed it because he played baseball, and some of you were expecting number 23’s heir to dribble a basketball.
Recently, the New York Yankees retired his number in grand style. No one will ever wear it again. Take a look if you missed it.
Video provided by MLB’s YouTube channel
Jeter played for 20 years in the pinstripes. He won the World Series five times. He’s the Yankees all-time leader in most of the categories we use to designate greatness including hits (3,465), doubles (544), games played (2,747) and stolen bases (358). His was named an All-Star 14 times. He won five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Jeter also became the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits, and when his career concluded, he also finished sixth all-time in career hits and was the all-time MLB leader in hits by a shortstop.
He even left the fans at Yankee Stadium with one more magic moment to remember him by.
Video provided by G4MarchMadnessHD’s YouTube channel
Exposure Magazine Sports Editor
Geoffrey Knox is the creator and the owner of The Thunderstorm Hip Hop Sports & Entertainment Network, co-editor for Inside The Iggles and a contributor for Saturday Blitz. Bookmark Thunderstorm Media on BlogtalkRadio.com, iTunes, TuneIn and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @GQ_4_Eva, @stormradio66 @stormsports66 & @insideiggles.
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