Portrait of Michael Jordan of Team USA posing with a ball during a photo shoot.
San Diego, California 6/23/1992
(Image # 1066 )

Although I had lied to myself, I now felt relieved at my acceptance of the truth.  I was no messiah, instead, an ordinary man who had his needs fulfilled in this countryside, and as a mark of gratitude served them for their kindness upon me. Connecting to this fact filled me with peace; it was as if a hundred kg stone got off my shoulders.

I slept peacefully that night and the next morning resolved I wouldn’t give a politician’s speech extolling ‘sacrifice,’ next time, invited for a talk.

Do we really sacrifice?

Michael Jordan – widely considered as the greatest basketball player ever- at the peak of his career, called it quits. If his retirement sent shock waves across the sports world, what he did next bewildered his fans completely. Announcing he has lost a desire to play the game, Jordan now decided to play Baseball instead.

Over a million minds that loved Jordan wondered, ‘But why Baseball when he is the best in Basketball?’

Michael Jordan had just returned successfully from a fantastic Olympic gold medal quest where he was part of a ‘Dream Team.’ With Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and other- in total eleven- ‘Hall of Fame’ members, the 1992 US men’s Olympic Basketball team was declared to be the greatest sports team ever assembled.  The star-studded squad boasted of the best, richest, and most talented players- each of them an NBA super celebrity with opponents more interested in clicking photographs with them than winning the match. The result was a foregone conclusion even before the contest began. They didn’t also have to sweat it out; the Dream team practiced just two hours a day and won each match handsomely- they scored over a hundred points in each game- the first team to ever do so. When they weren’t playing, they partied, enjoyed the nude beaches and the casinos. They stayed not in the mandatory Olympic village but a luxury seven-star hotel and created heightened madness wherever they went.

Still, Jordan was the only one who diligently studied the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses by watching their game tapes. While the other teams- Croatia, Angola, Germany, Brazil, and Lithuania- appeared more like school kids playing against a National team, Michael Jordan’s commitment endeared himself to his fans worldwide.

Then why did he retire?

To be continued…

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