Leaders of the New School
The Answer, “Karaoke Jordan,”
and the Modern-Day Balla
Your reign on the top was short like leprechauns.
— THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., “Kick in the Door”
When the 1993 NBA season concluded, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls had won their third straight championship. They were the first team to “three-peat” in the modern era. Jordan had vanquished all previous demons and seemed poised to continue winning for as long as he decided to play basketball. That seemed to be forever. Then, suddenly, he was gone, just like that, right before our very eyes.
Jordan decided to “retire” before the 1993–94 season began. This shocking announcement left everyone guessing. Why would a man at the top of his game walk away with so much more to give, with so much more basketball to be played? The NBA had coasted now for several years on Jordan's greatness. Jordan was such a bright, shining moment that at times it seemed like there was really no one else in the league. The others simply appeared to be there so that Jordan would have someone to play against. Jordan was the NBA, and it was quite clear at this point in history that his silhouette, no disrespect to Jerry West, should be the one serving as the NBA logo.