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Michael Jordan loved Roger Federer’s tweener shot at US Open (Video)

Michael Jordan US Open

Michael Jordan was at Flushing on Tuesday to take in Roger Federer’s first-round match at the US Open and build some hype for the tennis player’s new shoe.

It’s safe to say that MJ was enjoying the show.

At one point in the second set, Federer ran down a lob from Marinko Matosevic which landed out. Matosevic turned his back after the ball landed out, but Federer didn’t stop. He hit a tweener return that actually nailed Matosevic in the back, leaving Jordan and many others laughing.

Federer’s new shoe is the Nike Zoom Vapor x Air Jordan 3, which was released on Tuesday. The shoe marks the collaboration of arguably the two greatest players in the history of their respective sports.

“It’s just amazing having Michael here. Michael was my hero of all sports. Having him here is unbelievably special. The collaboration is unique, so I love it,” said Federer in an interview after his match.

Here’s Jordan giving an interview during the match where he talked about working with Federer on the shoe:

Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan really do have identical moves (Video)

Kobe Bryant Michael JordanFor those of you who aren’t convinced that Kobe Bryant modeled his game after Michael Jordan, this is Exhibit A. The third edition of the “Identical Plays” videos that were created by Youseff Hannoun was released earlier this week, and the results are just as jaw-dropping.

Granted, a lot of the plays we saw from both Michael and Kobe are typical of swingmen-type players. If you searched hard enough, you could find a clip of Kevin Durant hitting a step-back jumper the same way Jordan did. But the mannerisms — finger wagging, tongue wagging, etc. — from Kobe are what stand out.

Hey, Kobe freely admitted he stole some of his moves from Jordan. That’s the main reason Jordan has joked that he might not be able to take Kobe in a game of one-on-one. Both players are legends in their own right.

Michael Jordan ‘cool with’ LeBron James switching back to No. 23

LeBron James Cavs 23

LeBron James announced on Sunday that he has decided to wear No. 23 again in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While it makes sense that LeBron would want to go back to his original number for the homecoming, the reason he cited for switching to No. 6 four years ago has kind of made him look bad for going back.

If you remember, LeBron said in this interview that he was no longer going to wear 23 out of respect for Michael Jordan. James said MJ has done so much for the game of basketball that no one should wear 23 again. Apparently he changed his mind, though Jordan says he is fine with it.

“I’m cool with it,” Jordan told ESPN’s Chris Broussard in a text message Monday. “I don’t own a number.”

Jordan probably didn’t have an issue with LeBron wearing No. 23 to begin with, so his reaction is not a surprise. The real surprise is that LeBron didn’t stick with No. 6 or choose a different number just because of what he said about Jordan. While the fans who didn’t burn their old Cavs jerseys are grateful, it makes what James said four years ago sound really lame now.

Michael Jordan officially a billionaire?

Michael-Jordan-Neighbors-AnnoyedMichael Jordan is finally a billionaire, according to an article that was published in Forbes on Thursday.

Jordan, who earns an estimated $90 million per year through endorsement deals, his clothing and shoe company, the Charlotte Hornets and other avenues, was estimated to have a net worth of around $750 million earlier this year. However, Mike Ozanian reports that a recent increase in his stake in the Hornets has pushed Jordan’s net worth into 10 figures.

In recent months, Jordan has supposedly increased his stake in the Bobcats from 80 percent to almost 90 percent. Sports bankers estimate that the Hornets are worth somewhere between $600 million and $625 million, using the recent $500 million sale of Milwaukee Bucks as a benchmark. Here’s how Ozanian came to his conclusion:

Our net worth figure for Jordan uses the $600 million figure. The Hornets have $135 million of debt, which makes Jordan’s equity in the team worth $416 million. After subtracting all the cash Jordan has invested in the team, we estimate his net worth outside of the Hornets to be $600 million, giving him a net worth of a $1 billion

It was only a matter of time, right? If a report from Golf Digest earlier this year is accurate, Tiger Woods recently became the first billionaire athlete.

Moral of the story? Be the best athlete to ever play your sport and cozy up with Nike.

Isiah Thomas: Michael Jordan couldn’t have played through LeBron’s cramps

LeBron James cramps

Critics who have obviously never dealt with serious cramping will tell you that LeBron James showed a lack of heart on Thursday night when he left Game 1 of the NBA Finals with four minutes remaining. LeBron was suffering from severe cramps as a result of an AT&T Center air conditioning system malfunction, and Isiah Thomas believes there is absolutely nothing he could have done to play through it.

Thomas was in attendance for Game 1, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports noticed that he wasn’t even breaking a sweat in the 90-plus degree heat. Despite that, Thomas understood where LeBron was coming from.

“There is no athlete on the planet who could’ve played through those cramps,” he told Wojnarowski. “Michael Jordan absolutely couldn’t have played through those cramps. I absolutely couldn’t have played through those cramps. As an athlete, there’s nothing you could do.”

This is the same Isiah Thomas who, on a bum ankle, scored 25 points in a single quarter during Game 6 of the 1988 NBA Finals. The Detroit Pistons ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, but a severely hobbled Thomas singlehandedly kept his team in championship contention.

That’s why Thomas’ words are more than just meaningless blabber from someone who has never been there.

“There’s no way you could play that way,” he added. “People have to understand that – just no way.”

We have already heard comparisons between LeBron’s cramping and Michael Jordan’s legendary flu game. While those will undoubtedly continue, they aren’t fair to James. Jordan obviously felt awful, but LeBron was physically unable to move. He tried to reenter the game, but Erik Spoelstra told him “don’t even think about it.”

Fortunately for LeBron, his cramping came in Game 1. He has several more games to make people forget it ever happened, and we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that’s just what he did.

LeBron James on Michael Jordan comparison: It’s so humbling

lebron-michael-jordan-phone

LeBron James has finally reached a place where he can rightfully be compared to Michael Jordan and many of the other NBA greats, and he is humbled by the comparison.

After the Indiana Pacers lost to the Miami Heat in the playoffs Saturday for the third season in a row, head coach Frank Vogel tried putting things in perspective by comparing LeBron to MJ.

“It’s bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row, but we’re competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era,” said Vogel vua USA Today.

The comparison isn’t at all off. The Bulls went to three straight finals twice during the ’90s, winning all six thanks to Jordan and company. Since LeBron went to Miami and teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat have reached the finals every season. This is their fourth straight trip and they are looking to win it all for a third straight year.

“Any time I hear my name or our team in the same breath with legends and great teams and franchises, it’s so humbling,” James said when told of Vogel’s comparison. “It’s like – I really don’t know.”

Wade is from Chicago and James has always been a big MJ fan.

“Me and (Heat star Dwyane Wade) grew up watching the great Chicago Bulls team and the great Michael Jordan and the rest of those guys,” James said Saturday.

“To be able to play the game that we love at a high level for one another, for our teammates, it’s the ultimate,” James said. “When you hear the comparisons, you respect it. You’re humbled by it.”

If James is able to lead his team to a third straight championship, he will be in even more elite company than he is already. Once he gets a third ring, everything else he does will be for show, for history, and to add onto his already impeccable resume. He really is the MJ of his time and the Heat are putting together a Bulls-like run. Still, I think the Spurs have the better team this year. It should be a great finals.

Michael Jordan uncharacteristically releases statement on Donald Sterling

Michael-Jordan-BobcatsAfter initially remaining quiet when asked about Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments, Michael Jordan decided to release a statement addressing the issue on Sunday. The Hall of Famer and Charlotte Bobcats owner did not hold back.

“I look at this from two perspectives — as a current owner and as a former player,” Jordan wrote. “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.

As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”

Plenty of high-profile athletes, former athletes and politicians (like president Barack Obama) have already spoken out about Sterling. The pressure is on for him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers and erase his connection to the NBA, but MJ’s comments are interesting because they were so out of character.

Jordan rarely ever comments on political controversy. He knows he has made much of his fortune through his brand. When Jordan refused to endorse Harvey Gantt as he was trying to become the first black man elected to the Senate since Reconstruction, he explained his stance by famously saying “Republicans buy shoes, too.” That should tell you all you need to know.

H/T Eye on Basketball