Michael Jordan just celebrated his 50th birthday and after the speech he gave during his induction into the Hall of Fame where he made the statement “You may look up and see me playing the game at 50″ everybody and their mother has come out and began speculating on what type of player MJ would be if he did attempt at comeback at the half century mark.
First Antwan Jamison made a rather rational statement saying that he believed Jordan could average double figures. Then Skip Bayless came out and made a fool of himself claiming Michael would average 20 and could actually beat LeBron James right now, at 50 years old. Now his former trainer Tim Grover has come out and said he believes Jordan would average 20, here’s a quote from Deadspin:
“He’d average 20. Yeah, he’d average 20. … Listen, would he be able to go out and get through an 82-game season? One thing people also [forget], he had no major injuries. … But yes, Father Time is undefeated. But again, there’s so much advancement out there … in anti-aging and so forth, so it is possible. I don’t think that he would come back unless he was 100 percent ready.”
Now before I go into how ridiculous these comments are a quick disclaimer. I am a huge Jordan homer, I actually convinced myself he would be the best player in basketball when he came back with the Washington Wizards. As a young boy I cried when he retired the first time with the Bulls, I have an entire wall dedicated to MJ memorabilia in my basement. With that being said, no chance he averages 20 per game at 50 years old.
It was absolutely amazing watching Jordan average 20 as a 40 year old with the Wizards, even more amazing in my eyes was watching him suit up for all 82 games that season. I went to about 35 games that year, MJ was the best player on the floor for pretty much all of them and on some nights he was able to some how become the Jordan of old. I’m sure he could pull out some old MJ magic here and there if he did decide to give it a go at 50 and I’m sure he would still be a pretty good player, but 20 points per game? Really? That’s the biggest homer comment I’ve ever heard in my life.
Right now only 11 players in the NBA average 20 or more ppg and only Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade are over the age of 30. So what would Jordan be able to do on the court if he were to comeback? As pathetic as the Charlotte Bobcats are I do think he would be their best player and I agree with Grover I don’t see him coming back if he wasn’t physically ready to do it. I can see maybe 15-20 minutes per game, sitting out the second half of back to back nights 10-13 ppg on about 40-45% shooting. For a 50 year old that would be amazing, but it isn’t Michael Jordan and that’s why the man will never play again (although I was praying the rumors were right and he would play in the All-Star game on his birthday).
I understand Grover refusing to be realistic about his most famous former client, Skip Bayless is another story, anybody buying into their ludicrous claims are the real one’s to worry about.