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updated: 2/17/2013 9:10 PM

Even now, there's no reason to doubt Jordan

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  • If Michael Jordan, even at 50, says he can do something on a basketball court, just expect that he could do it.

      If Michael Jordan, even at 50, says he can do something on a basketball court, just expect that he could do it.
    Associated Press File photo

 
 

The bottles of Mad Dog 2020 are empty, no Spam remains in the can, and the nickel cigars are burned down to the butt.

Michael Jordan's 50th birthday party is history.

Now Jordan is just another geezer trying to keep from getting old as opposed to trying to stay young.

Don't buy the hype, folks: Fifty isn't the new 40. It isn't just a number, either. It's a colonoscopy wrapped in a prostate exam.

Yet Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a 19-year-old rookie on the Charlotte Bobcats, admitted over the weekend that Michael Jordan, the team's owner, laced up his orthopedic sneakers and beat him in a game of 1-on-1.

Veteran NBA player Antawn Jamison couldn't have been stunned. He remarked recently that Jordan still could average double figures in the league.

Most interesting, though, is that Jordan boasted a few years ago in retirement that he could have scored 100 points in a game under today's NBA rules.

The only surprise is that Jordan limited himself to a mere 100. Wilt Chamberlain scored that many, and His Royal Airness wouldn't want to share the record with anybody.

What a tantalizing proposition: The greatest basketball player ever challenging the greatest basketball record ever.

This isn't exactly like me bragging that I could win a Pulitzer Prize in the computer age or you saying you could win the Indy 500 in a green car.

At last check, neither of us is Michael Jordan.

Jordan wasn't talking about scoring 100 today at age 50. But why not? Anyone who has spent any time around him over the years knows that he believes he could unless, say, fellow Chicago sports icon Da Coach was guarding him.

Nolan Ryan likely thinks he still could no-hit the Yankees. Jim Brown likely thinks he still could run over linebackers one-third his age. Muhammad Ali likely thinks he still could take both Klitschko brothers at once.

This isn't just a sports mindset. Elvis told me last week that when he comes out of hiding he'll have a hip-hop arrangement of "Hound Dog" that will carry him back to the top of the charts.

Legends don't become any less legendary as they get older, do they?

Doubt Jordan if he says he has a system that will beat any blackjack dealer in Las Vegas. Doubt him if he says he could beat Tiger Woods at Augusta National.

But if Jordan says he could do something on a basketball court, trust that he could.

Jordan's biggest challenge would be deciding what combination of 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and eyes-wide-shut free throws he wanted to add up to 100.

Some figure that Jordan's team might lose 150-100. I figure if the opposition scored 150, Jordan would score 151.

One curiosity is why the most he ever scored in his prime was 69 points. Perhaps Nike already sold enough of Jordan Brand shoes and asked him not to put the company in a higher tax bracket.

Seriously, Jordan's obnoxious Hall of Fame induction speech indicated that he is certain he still can post up LeBron James and burst past Kobe Bryant.

The only doubt is whether Jordan would be able to do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back and the other flashing an obscene gesture at Jerry Krause.

Looking back at Jordan's career the past few days has been fun, but it's time to look ahead now that the rarefied air has been let out of the party balloons.

Michael Jordan beat everybody else so nothing says he can't at least neutralize Father Time.

His Royal Airness just might be waiting to score 100 points on his 100th birthday.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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