Happening almost simultaneously last Friday night, the sports world witnessed two tremendous athletes accomplish milestones.
Michael Jordan got the highest recognition which no player in the NBA ever deserved more by being inducted into basketball’s Hall of Fame.
The critics came out almost immediately by hacking away at Jordan’s speech and claiming Jeter’s record still does not make him one of the Yankee franchises top five ever.
For myself, goose bumps as tears swelled up in my eyes in complete and utter joy took over. Two men finally getting the credit they so rightly deserve on the same night is historic.
Jordan is considered to be the best athlete ever. He soared on the basketball court with god-like, surreal moves that were just purely amazing.
Jordan’s acceptance speech was as emotional as his play. Clearly he was moved, as his honesty was expressed through his words.
Jordan’s competitiveness both on and off the court is a characteristic that anyone at the top of his or her profession has to have.
The second athlete is more humble when it comes to talent. When it’s MJ as the comparison skill wise being closes behind is inevitable for anyone.
Derek Jeter broke a 72-year-old, Yankee record with his 2722 hit in pinstripes. A record previously held by the great Lou Gehrig.
Yankees stadium was at full capacity with each in attendance excited to witness Jeter achieve this honored. Honor is a familiar term to Jeter but critics immediately did it know justice by focusing on the lack of this record regarding creditability.
Listening to Peter Gammons, a known Red Sox fan, analyze why Jeter is not the greatest Yankee to follow immediately the ESPN poll results of the better Yankee among Mariano or Jeter was heartless.
The same class that Jeter brings not only as the Yankees captain but also to the sport of baseball is irreplaceable. Without Jeter, baseball’s reputation would have no creditability because Jeter is the excuse that the sport is not made up of all cheaters.
Regardless of critics’ opinions, the sports world is at a significant crossroad. Athletes do not respect that honors or attitude is not by word of mouth but by how you play the game. The disrespect or tantrums accompanied with blame will kill the aura of sports popularity.
No one wants to see a cocky kid; with nothing more than a huge contract act lazy or ignore the press because doing what they want to do is all they know.
Jeter and Jordan never act bigger before they were. Putting winning championships as a team before individual accomplishments being the goal. It is evident because each game is played with everything, never lazy and taking it for granted because that is how champions win.
Both men have grace and only contribute to sports with their examples.
“Things happen for a reason” or “timing is everything” are popular quotes for a reason. And Friday night proved the truth behind the words above.
Jeter wearing Air Jordans on the field seems only more suitable.
Each, define the foremost elite of what American athletes of today. My sincerest congratulations and gratitude goes out to both of them.
“Sometimes I dream; That he is me; You’ve got to see that’s how I dream to be.”