I thought it was just fatigue talking. But the weariness Michael Jordan described in late January, 1993 was more than the dog days of another NBA season. More than the weariness of defending back-to-back titles and in Michael’s case, even more than seeing his shooting percentage dip to its lowest point in the previous six seasons and his clutch ability showing some uncharacteristic chinks.
These last few weeks have allowed me, forced me at times, to read, talk and remember what happened nearly 30 years ago. Sometimes, even the smallest details come rushing back unexpectedly, like when Teddy Greenstein, an old friend from the Tribune, asked me for my recollections of Michael’s retirement press conference for a story that ran in today.
Melissa Isaacson, Tribune staff reporter CHICAGO TRIBUNE
May 1, 2005 FONTANA | CALF.
His favorite time was always 10 at night until 3 in the morning, when the streets were quiet and the summer air cool and he could open it up a little.
Well, a lot.
He rode during the day, too, sometimes with his nephews but more often alone, hiding beneath his helmet and cruising through the city, enjoying the solitude and reliving his youth, when he and his brothers would jump ditches and pop wheelies and try to keep their more risky dirt-bike escapades from their mother.
The announcement Tuesday was just another drop of bad news in a virtual flood this last month
or however long it has been now. It’s hard to keep up, both with the days and the news. And
when the Illinois High School Association said it was officially cancelling all spring sports state
tournaments, it was no surprise, an inevitable response to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s earlier decision to
close state schools for the rest of the academic year.
But this one still hurt. And like the decisions to cancel proms and graduations and some of the
winter state tournaments, the sting will be felt acutely and linger for a while.
They came with their camera crew last spring, bearing glad tidings and detailed questions that made me very nervous because although I remember my years covering the Bulls for the Chicago Tribune very fondly, my recall for details like the terms of Scottie Pippen’s second contract are somewhat sketchy.
The director Jason Hehir and his coordinating producer Jake Rogal could not have been nicer or more patient as I scoured my memory for tidbits they might want to include in their upcoming documentary “The Last Dance.” But what I wanted to say was, “If you ask me about Will Perdue’s shoes or Horace Grant’s aversion to mice or that time Michael threw up, I’m here for you.”
Angling for a little attention in a world where worthwhile causes are as prevalent as iphones, the quiet battle being waged by a group of Chicago-area women is much more important than it may appear.
Nearly 50 years after Title IX gave girls the legal right to compete on the same proverbial playing field as boys, there are far fewer women who are coaching them. In Illinois this 2019-2020 season, 76 percent of girls’ high school basketball teams are coached by men.
Forget for now the very real argument that women should be considered on every level for boys’ and men’s coaching jobs. That’s the ultimate goal, of course. But first things first.