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Retire 23? I Think Not

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How much reverence can you show a man who has shown none for anybody else? That's what I'm wondering after Pat Riley had the Miami Heat retire number 23 in honor of Michael Jordan. Riley is actually trying to get the whole league to retire His Airness' number.

I get it. MJ is the greatest player of all time and he took the game global. Seriously though, do we need to retire number 23 just so nobody forgets he was the greatest?

Maybe we should also consider that MJ might be the biggest douchebag to ever play in the NBA as well. If you think I'm just some bitter Knicks fan that has a visceral hate for him, you may be right, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

This is a guy who punched teammate Steve Kerr in practice and has been lauded for this because it showed us how competitve he was. Really? Can you imagine the shit storm that would ensue if Lebron, Kobe or D-Wade did that today?

I understand the gesture and if Jordan wasn't such an arrogant, self-centered prick I would be totally on board with this. How do I know he's a prick? Well he happened to give the most arrogant hall of fame speech of all time where he told his kids they had a heavy burden to live up too, thanked almost nobody and explained how he perceived everything as a slight to fuel his competitve fire.

He even called out the media for doubting his abilities. Sorry MJ, I didn't realize that as soon as you came into the league they should have assumed you were the greatest player of all time. Honestly, how many doubters did he really have? He got a free pass from the media for any off the court transgressions (i.e. gambling excessively) and has been universally lauded as the greatest player of all time.

He has been honored numerous times, by players, coaches, media and league officials for his play and contributions to the development of the game. Is it necessary to retire his jersey number when players with as equally important a role in the success of the league like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird have never received the accolades Jordan has?

I like the gesture, just not the recipient.