User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Current stars celebrate Jordan at 50

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

HOUSTON (AP) - Michael Jordan turned 50 on Sunday, giving this year's All-Stars a chance to reflect on his illustrious career and how much he still means to the sport.

Advertisement
In a weekend filled with the NBA's greatest players, Jordan was the topic no one could stop talking about. Though he hasn't played since the 2002-03 season, Jordan's influence still permeates the league and its players.

``Every kid that wanted to play basketball, that could play, that couldn't play, you tried to emulate Michael Jordan,'' Heat star Dwyane Wade said. ``That's why there will never be another one of him. He the first of his kind. Everything he did was groundbreaking. He did it with so much flare and so much pizazz that even today people are still trying to be like Mike.''

Jordan won six titles and five MVP awards during a career spent mostly with the Bulls that began in 1984.

Jordan was in Houston this weekend, and celebrated his birthday early with a private bash on Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts with guests including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is so impressed with Jordan that he said he's like a real version of Superman.

``Be Like Mike'' was more than a marketing campaign. It was a dream for many of today's players.

``He's amazing,'' Howard said. ``He's one of the reasons why we played basketball. He inspired us to do great things. I hear his voice sometimes on commercials, it makes you want to get out there and try to do something.''

Jordan retired twice before finally leaving the game for good at age 39. Some people wondered this weekend if he could still play in the NBA, despite reaching the age where he qualifies for an AARP card.

Wade believes this day will be a time for Jordan to reflect on his storied career and appreciate his family and health.

``Kind of look back at all the things he did, so many years ago in the NBA that still lives on today,'' Wade said. ``What he's been able to do to stay this relevant, in this role, the way he has, is phenomenal.''

Though he isn't seen often, Jordan is never far from the game. He is close to a group of players through his Jordan Brand apparel and as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. He ignited one of the debates of the weekend when he told NBA TV he would chose Bryant over James based on the number of championships each has won.

``If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice, but five beats one every time I look at it, and not that (James) won't get five, he may get more than that, but five is bigger than one,'' Jordan said in the interview, which airs Monday night.

Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks counts Jordan as one of the most influential in his decision to play basketball.

``He changed the game, transcended the game,'' Anthony said. ``He changed the way people coached the game from a mental aspect. From a training aspect, how you approach that, he changed that. So for me as a kid to see that and see somebody go through that and succeed, that was motivation.''

Jordan, who retired for the last time with more than 32,000 points, is perhaps known as much by the younger generation of stars for his namesake Nike shoe as for his basketball skills.

``The imprint he's had on the league, he's an immortal,'' Bryant said. ``Everything that he's done from the business aspect to his professionalism to his work ethic to the global appeal of the game has been something that carries on for generations and generations.''

Jordan didn't make himself available to the press during All-Star weekend. James said this week that he wasn't too concerned with the TV remarks.

``At the end of the day, rings don't always define someone's career,'' James said. ``If that's the case, then I would sit up here and say that I would take (Bill) Russell over Jordan. I wouldn't. I wouldn't take Russell over Jordan, but Russell has 11 rings and Jordan has six. Or I'd take, I don't know, Robert Horry over Jordan. I wouldn't do that. But it's your own personal opinion.''

``Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all time,'' he continued. ``Reggie Miller is one of the greatest of all time. Sometimes, it's a situation that you're in, it's the team that you're in. It's about timing as well.''

One of the most common sentiments echoed by players this week when talking about Jordan was disbelief that he was turning 50.

``Time actually flies,'' Bryant said. ``Him turning 50, this will be my 17th year, my 15th All-Star Game. Where did the time go?''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
David: Sunday's Early Action
Rogers: Sunday's Late Action
Sportsbook: Sunday's Playoff Games
Lawrence: Opening Round Angles
Mejia: Fearless Predictions
Durant, Thunder down Grizzlies 100-86
Hawks embarrass Pacers in Game 1
Warriors beat Clips in playoff opener
Nets beat Raptors 94-87 in Game 1
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
7-2 L9 G-Plays, +4,002 This Year
9-1 L10, 16-3 L19, 37-11 Streak
11-5 L16 Picks, +2,007 This Year
6-1 L7 Picks, 10-2 L12 Win Streak
19-9 L28, +1,870 G-Plays TY
9-3 Last 12 Picks
12-4 L16 Totals, +1,624 Picks TY
18-9 Last 27 Selections
4-0 L4 G-Plays, +1,586 TY
8-3 L11 G-Plays, 10-3 L13 Totals
+1,573 Totals This Year
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 6-2 L8 Picks
7-2 L9 Picks, 13-4 L17 G-Plays
3-0 L3 Picks, 4-0 Guarantee Run
4-1 Last 5 Guaranteed Plays
6-1 Last 7 Over/Unders
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 4093
Mike Rose + 1787
Stephen Nover + 1724
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 684
Chip Chirimbes + 484
Doc's Sports + 290
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Chip Chirimbes 58 %
Paul Bovi 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1970
The Prez + 1413
Paul Bovi + 1318
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 1563
Stephen Nover + 1447
Kyle Hunter + 1045
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1604
Bruce Marshall + 1598
Chip Chirimbes + 1208
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!