Brendan Whitt

WHEN BRENDAN WHITT THINKS...

Blought #2 'Mike and Us 90's Babies'

In recognition of His Airness’ upcoming 50th birthday, I've decided to share my thoughts on his impact of American culture in the eyes of a 90’s baby (I’m old enough to be nostalgic now).Other than  Kobe and Lebron most of us 90’s kids don’t have much memory of any other player who has dominated the game of basketball. I could bring up Shaq or Dirk but Kobe and Lebron are the only players comparable to MJ. By the time we could begin recollecting any memories of Mike he was past his prime and glory days. He was drafted in ’84, won his first ring a month before I was born, and  retired when I was about six. When you look at Lebron, the guy who has dominated the NBA since I was about twelve, idolized Mike. The guy who most kids looked up to in my generation, idolized the greatest ever. Talk about leaving your mark on the game.

MJ’s legacy isn’t exclusive to the court, but American culture period. One of my favorite movies ever starred Mike himself. In Space Jam, the world’s greatest basketball player was playing alongside Warner Bros. cartoon elite. Mike didn't put on an Oscar winning performance or anything, but watching that movie at five years old was better than an All Star game. The movie was so huge, it even garnered it’s own shoe, the “Space Jam 11’s”

It doesn't matter how much basketball you watch, how many times you’ve seen  Space Jam, or even if you don’t care about the man, the largest impact Jordan has left may be his shoes. His shoe brand has had 28 official player models and a few other models including the Phat and Spizike. Jordan and his shoe has dominated the sneaker culture for almost three decades. That’s a pretty impressive stretch. Kids who have never even seen him play line up for his shoes on those early Saturday mornings (I've been to my share of releases).

What else can you say, the man practically created the endorsement. He endorsed the hot dog you ate, the white t-shirt you spilled mustard on,  and created the shoe that had you wanting to be “like Mike”. Mike has not only left his impact on the game of basketball, but he’s left an impact on American culture as a whole. From my 90’s baby eyes, that impact is pretty big.