Our Economy Essay

1237 Words 5 Pages
Our economy

Their season opened in Boston, against a young Celtics team that had listened to 80-year-old Red Auerbach. "David Stern's name is on the basketball," Auerbach had said. "Not Michael Jordan's."

That evening, Celtics TV analyst Tom Heinsohn made sure his audience knew who Jordan is not. "He's not God," Heinsohn said. "Everybody treats him like a messiah or something. He isn't."

If it seems odd, at this point, for so many to be confused about Michael Jordan's identity, it's only because Jordan makes it confusing. He does not own the Bulls, and he isn't general manager, but as sure as they lost their opener to the Celtics and as sure as they drifted through the first two months of the season, he is the guy
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In 1997 we learned that Turner wouldn't mind veering into a boxing ring with Murdoch, Knight leads with his chin on labor issues and Stern and Ebersol are running a three-legged race deep in clover. All No. 1s (save Tisch, who is retired) levitate ubiquitously over the high-flying entertainment-media-sports industry.

Among No. 1s, Knight, Turner and Murdoch are billionaires (and Stern and Ebersol make billion-dollar deals). Jordan is not No. 1 because he has a chance to become the world's first athlete-billionaire, but because he has the requisite drive and brains. It has been a breathtaking ride up for Jordan, the grandson of a sharecropper who couldn't afford a bicycle until he was 16. Signs are promising he can book hang time in the nether world of moguls.

His place in popular culture continues to ascend. Two global celebrities-Princess Diana and Mother Teresa-died in 1997. That leaves Fidel, Mandela, Ali and Michael on a short list of those who need only one name for instant recognition.

When Jordan accompanied the Bulls to the McDonald's Championship in Paris in October, his full-length photo ran on the front page of the newspaper France-Soir with a headline: "The Idol of Young People Is in Paris.'' The story began: "Michael Jordan is in Paris. That's better than the Pope. It's God in person.'' At the same time, a Paris department store displayed a white Michael Jordan mannequin, indicative of a basic truth:…