Monitor: US comment on the retirement of the basketball star Michael Jordan

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The Independent Culture
MICHAEL'S TRYING to do what most of us, untouched by a divine talent, could never contemplate: he's trying to quit with his illusion of immortality intact. That feared defeat, that unwanted ending, that sad last act, is a vital part of the plot. It's also parallel to the narrative line we all live through our whole lives. We get to the end of things and we stick around for whatever is next. But that next story doesn't begin until you have an ending, a denouement, for the first. Michael is lopping off his tale's conclusion.

Salon Magazine

A BALLPLAYER, unlike an artist, cannot continue refining his art until the end of his life, and Jordan knew when the time had come to recognize that he had written the right ending for his career. He is going out at the top of his game, a champion who has nothing left to prove.

Boston Globe

HE IS arguably the world's most famous person, and not only famous but admired - a figure whose selling power extends far beyond sports. But his decision to leave the Chicago Bulls, who have pretty much owned the NBA championship in this decade, hardly came as a surprise. He'd said he didn't wish to play for any coach other than Phil Jackson, who has left the Bulls. And he can afford (at well over $70 million a year in salary and endorsements, boy, can he afford) to leave while still on top, making a dignified exit.

The Washington Post

THERE ARE no other Michael Jordans. This is an athlete whose thoughtful approach to fame offers the best guidance on what professional sports in general ought to be looking for. As Jordan so aptly demonstrated again Wednesday, the many aspirants to the throne of "His Airness" need to understand that it takes more than slam dunks to inspire lasting fan loyalty and admiration.

LA Times

JORDAN BECAME a potent symbol of sports merchandising. He rescued pro basketball from the doldrums and came to symbolize American culture that encircles the world.

San Francisco Chronicle

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