Today one of the greatest Hall of Fame classes of all time will be inducted, and as Michael Lee points out, only John Stockton has no local District ties.
The most important inductee of course will be Michael Jordan, a man many, including myself, consider to be the greatest player in the history of the game. But as the anticipation of this night has grown, there has been many who have commented on the negative impact Jordan’s Wizard years had on the franchise, as well as his legacy.
To me Jordan’s appearance in a Washington jersey did none of those things. As the saying goes, we are all victims to our expectations. For those who expected a 38-year-old Jordan to become the transcendent superstar he was in the late 90’s got what they had coming, disappointment. For me, however, a young Wizards fan who had never really known winning, Jordan’s return was the greatest thing in the world.
The greatest athlete in history, Michael Jordan, played night after night for Washington fans. Was he the same? No. But the magic was rekindled every few nights and it was always a show.
No matter what the critics may say, Michael still had it:
One of the biggest marks on Jordan was that he hampered the development of young talent while soaking up the spotlight for himself. But let's be honest, who on that team really had future star potential? Richard Hamilton has proven himself to be a very good NBA player, even an All-Star. But Hamilton's development wasn't hampered, he got his fair share of shots. If anything Hamilton developed into the leader he is today (for the Pistons) because of the lessons he learned under Jordan.
The other big mark against Jordan's time with the Wizards was his choice to draft Kwame Brown first overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. When evaluating this move we have to remember that 1. the Wizards were lucky to have that pick in the first place, so it wasn't exactly the same as having the worst record in the league and drafting a bust, and 2. the 2001 lottery was garbage.
Let's also not forget, the Wizards ended up with the best player in that draft anyways, Gilbert Arenas.