In my “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” world, I have wiped out memories of Michael Jordan in a Wizards jersey.
But it did happen. And really he didn’t play poorly, he was an older good player on a bad team, something we see plenty of in the NBA. That’s just not how I choose to remember MJ.
Now we at least we have someone to blame for that era — Wolf Blitzer.
Here is what the man from CNN’s Situation Room told Michael Lee of the Washington Post about a panel Blitzer hosted in 2001 that included Jordan, David Stern, Bully Hunter and others.
“At one point, I said to him, ‘This city would really explode if you put your uniform back on and starting playing a little bit.’ And he laughed. Then I pressed him and pressed him. After the interview, he did it,” Blitzer said in a recent telephone interview. “Now being an egomaniac that I am, I take personal credit. But I suspect there were other factors besides my excellent questioning that convinced him to come back and play.”
There were other factors. Jordan came back to put the Wizards financially in the black, which he did. The team sold out pretty much every game he played in Washington D.C. There was bitterness at the end because Jordan thought he would get more of a reward from then owner Abe Pulin for what he did, instead Jordan complained he felt used.
It’s complex. Which is why it’s just easier to blame Wolf Blitzer and try to forget the whole thing.