By JOEL SOLOMON
Happy No. 53 to No. 23, His Airness!
While some of you may only know Michael Jordan from underwear commercials and crying memes, he's actually the greatest basketball player of all-time. Fans have long been looking to replace him, but filling those Air Jordans is no easy task.
Here's 2 Point Lead's look at who, at one time, was dubbed 'The Next Jordan.'
First up, Harold Miner. He earned the nickname 'Baby Jordan' at USC because he could dunk, had a bald head and liked to stick out his tongue. But the Jordan comparisons ended there. Miner was drafted by the Hear in 1992 and never averaged more than 10 points a game in four NBA seasons. Actually, that would make him just bad enough that today's Jordan would have drafted him in the first round.
Next is, Tamir Goodman. Nicknamed 'The Jewish Jordan', he dominated the orthodox Jewish high school basketball scene in the last '90s so much so, that he was featured in Sports Illustrated and offered a scholarship to Maryland. He ended up at Towson, but never panned out. Oy! Tamir ended up playing a few years in a second-level Israel Pro League, which, at the very least, is something Michael Jordan can't say he ever did.
Next up, Pete Myers. When Michael Jordan first retired to play baseball, Myers replaced him at shooting guard for the Bulls. Myers averaged 7.9 points, essentially what Jordan would put up in one quarter. Thankfully, it all ended a year later when Myers was replaced by, you guessed it, Michael Jordan. Or, the next Pete Myers. Kidding.
Next we have, Hare Jordan! In the Galaxy's biggest game -- Monstars vs. Looney Tunes -- Michael couldn't do it all by himself. Bugs Bunny played sidekick, chipping in 10 points, but just like he with the Bulls, MJ bailed his team out and scored 44 points -- including the game-winning dunk from half court.
What's up with that, Doc? Bugs Bunny never played an international or interplaneterial basketball game again. But apparently owes MJ $50K.
Finally, there's Jerry Stackhouse and Vince Carter, who were both high-flying guard who played at UNC like MJ and had solid pro careers. But, really, the closest anyone has come to the 'Next Jordan' level is the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers legend won five rings, two scoring titles and one dunk contest. There are some who might even say Kobe was the better player of the two. Sure, they all live in LA., but they exist.
So, happy birthday, Michael. Clearly, there will never be another like you. And you can bet on that.
MICHAEL JORDAN THROUGH THE YEARS: