|ESPN.com: 2009||[Print without images]|
Michael Jordan could've picked almost anybody on earth to present him into the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday.
Barack Obama even.
But he didn't.
And he could've picked a North Carolina player. That would've been the right PR thing to do.
Or a Chicago Bull. That would've gone over happily.
Or the hand that feeds him, Nike boss Phil Knight. His accountant would've liked that.
But Jordan didn't.
Instead, he picked his boyhood idol -- and mine -- David (Skywalker) Thompson of North Carolina State and the Denver Nuggets.
I know, i know, you say you never saw anybody who could leap like Jordan, but you didn't see David Thompson. He had a 44-inch vertical, 50 with a single step.
And I know, you never saw anybody who could dunk like Jordan, but you didn't see David Thompson. The best slam dunk contest in history was Thompson vs. Dr. J in Denver in 1976 -- the single most exciting day of my 18-year-old life -- and that Dr. J won it is still the biggest crime since the Danny Ocean heist.
And you never saw anybody who could take over a game like Jordan, but you didn't see David Thompson, the man I once saw take a rebound off the top of a backboard, the man I once saw dunk a ball from the crook of his elbow, the idol's idol.
Glad to see him finally get his due.