This morning, video surfaced of Michael Jordan at his annual “Michael Jordan Flight School” camp held at UC-Santa Barbara every year. Seeing as the title of the camp implies that the host has the ability to elevate to great heights off the ground, it only makes sense that His Airness should show off the hops to let these young whippersnappers know that, even at age 50, he can still throw it down.
The minute long clip is an absolute gem, and the moment I watched it I realized it required a thorough breakdown.
0:02: The blue shirted challenger steps onto the court. Who is this kid? How did he get picked to go against MJ in a quick game of 1-on-1? Is he some kind of prodigy who has a shot at challenging Jordan?
0:05: MJ quickly sizes up his opponent. It doesn’t take long to figure out that if he puts the ball above his head, the kid doesn’t have much of a chance at stealing it. It seems the kid may not be a prodigal talent. Jordan also appears to consider launching a jumper, but what’s the fun in that?
0:10: Jordan is just trolling this kid. He first pumps the poor little guy out of his shoes. Then he reminds everyone that he has massive hands and can pretty easily palm the ball. He then pumps again with his hand that has no ball in it. At this point, Blue Shirt Challenger is probably feeling pretty hopeless.
0:15: Jordan has gone from playful to bullying in the last five seconds. He’s treating this poor kid like a small dog. But hey, this is the competitive spirit that makes us love #23!
0:18: And here’s where Mike makes his move. He waits for the small child to take the bait and go for the steal. Then, before you can say “hey Mike lets play cards later tonight?” Jordan executes a swim move that would have Michael Phelps blushing. Blue Shirt, already giving up over a foot, has now fallen a step behind the greatest player to ever walk onto a basketball court. Things aren’t looking good for him.
0:20: OH MY GOD HE DUNKED IT HE DUNKED IT. And not only did he dunk it, but he did it with relative ease. This is pretty remarkable, considering the running start I require to graze the bottom on the net. Jordan just glides through the lane and is effortlessly at the rim. This is pretty awesome. While not his most impressive slam, it’s pretty sweet for a guy who’s been around for half a century.
0:28: This kid is really in some trouble. It seems that before the camera started rolling, this ambitious young lad and MJ agreed to play Make It Take It. You think it would have been nice for MJ to let him start with the ball, but I’m not sure “nice” is a word Jordan is familiar with.
0:34: Michael is considering backing down this impressionable, hard working child all the way from the three point line. I can’t really blame him. I heard his post defense really sucks.
0:43: By this point, Jordan has managed to make it all the way to the free throw line. Gotta give credit to the kid though. He’s hand checking the shit out of Mike, probably assuming that Jordan isn’t familiar with the new rule changes in the league.
0:45: The hand checking is paying off! Jordan has retreated back to the three point arc! Score one for the little guy!
0:51: Oh no. Jordan takes advantage of the kid overplaying him to the left side and executes the worlds slowest spin move. He also seems to have pinned the cute little guy’s arm between his elbow and hip. This is probably a painful experience for him, both physically and emotionally
0:52: Jordan has another clear path to the basket. Is he going to rattle the rim one more time?
0:55: Nah. Jordan has already let us know he can still get up. No need to show us again. Instead, Mike lofts of a nice lefty floater. I really gotta add that one to my game.
1:00: Michael casually strolls off the court. The poor kid seems to want another chance at stopping MJ, but Jordan seems to have grown tired of humiliating him.
If you don’t think MJ lit up a victory cigar that night and loudly announced that he’s still got it, you clearly don’t know anything about Michael Jordan.