Jordan finally arrives on hoops video game cover
After all those championships and MVP awards, Michael Jordan has
finally arrived – on the cover of a basketball video game.
Jordan fronts NBA 2K11, a game that allows fans to add Jordan to
their favorite team – if they can first replicate some of his
One of sports’ top pitchmen during his Hall of Fame playing
career, Jordan had never before appeared on the cover of an
NBA-licensed basketball game.
Now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, the six-time champion
with the Chicago Bulls said Thursday the deciding factor in doing
it now was the opportunity ”to connect to this generation, when in
essence a lot of these young kids never saw me play.”
”They do remember me from ‘Space Jam,’ but not from
basketball,” Jordan said. ”So I felt like this would be a good
opportunity to kind of expose them to that.”
Jordan had input in the development of the game, which was
released Tuesday and includes features such as the ”Flu Game” and
the ”Shrug Game.” The five-time MVP said he’s received great
response, adding that his boys are ”totally going crazy.”
To obtain Jordan for their team, players first have to unlock
him by completing the ”Jordan Challenge,” a series of 10 of
Jordan’s most memorable performances that he helped select.
Among them are his 63-point performance against Larry Bird and
eventual champion Boston in 1986, and Chicago’s Game 5 victory over
Utah in the 1997 NBA finals, when Jordan shook off an illness to
lead the Bulls within a victory of another title. There’s also a
1992 finals game against Portland, when Jordan could only shrug
after hitting his sixth 3-pointer of the first half – which the
video game character also does.
”To me the toughest was probably the flu game under the
circumstances, what I had to deal with to play and what was at
stake at that time,” Jordan said. ”And the easiest of the ones
that was on the list was probably the 63-point game, which is the
only game I probably lost of all the highlights.”
Once that’s been completed, fans can place a rookie Jordan onto
their current team as if he were in the 2010 NBA draft. In a
commercial promoting the game, Kobe Bryant obtains the six-time
champion for his Los Angeles Lakers.
Jordan, of course, would rather compete against the top players
than join them.
”Would I do it? No. But can a kid do it?” Jordan said. ”Can a
Laker fan do it? Yeah. I think that’s the beautiful part of the
In real life, Jordan is focused now on building a team. He
returned from a trip to the Ryder Cup to watch his Bobcats fall to
0-2 in the preseason with a 97-93 loss to Oklahoma City on
Charlotte made its first playoff appearance last season, then
lost point guard Raymond Felton when he signed with the New York
Knicks. D.J. Augustin is now the starter, and Jordan said he
doesn’t need an upgrade.
”I got a point guard. I got two, actually,” he said. ”So I
mean, I’m always looking to better the scenario if any other
All-Star point guards become available. Sure, I’d be willing to
talk, but as of right now I’m happy with what I have.”
The Bobcats could have landed Nets point guard Devin Harris in
the collapsed four-team proposal that would have sent Carmelo
Anthony from Denver to New Jersey. Charlotte coach Larry Brown
covets solid play at the position, and there’s been speculation
he’ll lobby Jordan to obtain someone.
”That’s Larry,” Jordan said. ”If you know Larry, Larry wants
to always (have) the highest. He would love to get a marquee point
guard as we would all, but I mean, as of right now we have a point
guard and we have to support him until things change.”
The video-game Bobcats have no such problem. They can do what
the real team never can: get Jordan out of the front office and