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Wolf Blitzer convinced Jordan to play for Wizards? Thanks a lot.

Nov 1, 2011, 10:56 AM EDT

Michael Jordan Wizards Getty Images

In my “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” world, I have wiped out memories of Michael Jordan in a Wizards jersey.

But it did happen. And really he didn’t play poorly, he was an older good player on a bad team, something we see plenty of in the NBA. That’s just not how I choose to remember MJ.

Now we at least we have someone to blame for that era — Wolf Blitzer.

Here is what the man from CNN’s Situation Room told Michael Lee of the Washington Post about a panel Blitzer hosted in 2001 that included Jordan, David Stern, Bully Hunter and others.

“At one point, I said to him, ‘This city would really explode if you put your uniform back on and starting playing a little bit.’ And he laughed. Then I pressed him and pressed him. After the interview, he did it,” Blitzer said in a recent telephone interview. “Now being an egomaniac that I am, I take personal credit. But I suspect there were other factors besides my excellent questioning that convinced him to come back and play.”

There were other factors. Jordan came back to put the Wizards financially in the black, which he did. The team sold out pretty much every game he played in Washington D.C. There was bitterness at the end because Jordan thought he would get more of a reward from then owner Abe Pulin for what he did, instead Jordan complained he felt used.

It’s complex. Which is why it’s just easier to blame Wolf Blitzer and try to forget the whole thing.

  1. mjbulls45 - Nov 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    his team in DC was awful…

    he was 40 years old and still having triple doubles, hitting game winners, and averaging around 20 points – how many other 40 year-olds do that in the NBA?

    OK so what, he was old, we also found out HE IS HUMAN

    you also gotta give credit for someone who has nothing to prove to still have that competitive desire to still want to play and compete, ha he was def NOT playing for money or rings at that point…ha MJ clinched that in the mid 90’s

    which also makes his BULLS YEARS that much more special and amazing and for us fans we appreciate it more.

    at the top of his game MJ is the GOAT , dont ask me , thats just what Larry and Magic said too, I’ll take their word for it.

    PS – The red, white, & blue striped throwback Bullets Jordan jersey is one of the greatest most crucial looking jerseys known to man…

    • blueintown - Nov 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Don’t think for one second that MJ felt he didn’t have anything left to prove. That’s what drives him. That comeback was aimed at sticking it to Krause and Reinsdorf.

      • mjbulls45 - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        I can agree with you to a certain degree,

        but why prove anything to those 2 guys, he MADE them,

        ha they’ve seen him in person play and become the G.O.A.T ,

        they both know they are the reason the Bulls broke up and how all MJ fans hate both of them,

        most guys Jordans age and what he had already accomplished would not DARE to come back to risk ruining their legacy, Jordan still did it knowing he could flame out…oh well,

        i still enjoyed a 40 year old MJ with the un-playoff bound Wiz even if no one else didnt, the all star game fade away buzzer beater was worth it, I think he dropped a 50 burger a few times, and ANOTHER game winner in Cleveland never gets old…. youtube these moments people! ha, “Jordan wizards” or “Jordan all star game buzzer beater”… classics

    • Dan M. - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:14 AM

      Just for the record, MJ didn’t have any triple-doubles in his Wizards years. Not to say he wasn’t solid then though, he had many double-doubles – just no 3-2s.

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