Michael Jordan's Greatest Shot

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Not really, but the Duran post got me to thinking about my favorite athletes and and my favorite moments. There's a pattern for me, I love Ali vs. Foreman more than Ali Vs. Liston--though everyone says the younger Ali was a better fighter. Part of what was great about watching Doug Williams beat John Elway, was the fact that Williams was past his prime. I remember watching Warren Moon light up the Kansas City Chiefs, and thinking that what made it so poignant was that Moon had spent some of his best years in the CFL. So likewise, pre-baseball Jordan, with the god-like hops, is always dwarfed, in my mind, by post-baseball Jordan, robbed of those hops, but armed with the turn-around fade-away jumper.


It's not just that we're talking about comebacks, but that special place where speed and strength are not enough--or perhaps the special place where it appears that speed and strength are not enough, and the athlete seems to summon up something mystical. I really wish Randall Cunningham had beat the Falcons and taken the Vikings to the Super Bowl that year.

At any rate, I don't what I love more about this--the shot, Jordan raising his fist, or Stephon Marbury's looking utterly dejected on the bench.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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