Michael Jordan still believes he can fly...because he can.
At his annual Michael Jordan Flight School basketball camp, the 50-year-old was captured dunking in front of the participants, courtesy of ESPN.com.
Dunking is hardly out of character for the two-time Slam Dunk Contest winner, but this isn't a 25-year-old Jordan. Or 35. Or even 45. This is a 50-year-old Jordan taking flight in his street clothes, like elevating above the rim is a normal, everyday activity for someone his age.
News flash: It's not.
Retired folk aren't supposed to spend their time showcasing freakish athletic abilities. They should be playing shuffleboard, refining their golf games and taking supplements to ensure their bone-density levels aren't drastically low.
Perhaps proving he still has the hops necessary to posterize Bugs Bunny, a batch of multi-colored aliens or any other of our animated friends is his version of a midlife plight.
Some 50-somethings need to show they can still pull off a suit they were fitted for decades ago; others purchase a set of wheels—a Harley, sports car, horse-drawn carriage—to preserve their "youth." Jordan, however, spreads his imaginary wings and assaults the rim with a one-handed stuff.
Not that Jordan is waging an internal battle with himself. This could just be him being him. Firmly planting your feet on solid ground can grow boring; maybe he just needed the adrenaline rush that comes with showing us he can still jump higher than we can.
Whatever the reason, Jordan's verticals are impressive, especially at his age. It would be even more extraordinary if he could still dunk 13 years from now, at 63, like Julius Erving.
Something tells me he'll be able to. Knowing Jordan, he may have no trouble dunking at 70 or 75, even if he needed a motor scooter to get around by that point.
But we're getting ahead ourselves, and losing sight of what's most important—this dunk itself.
Half a century later, His Airness still has it.