That was what was emblazoned on my white T-Shirt in 1995. All caps! Arial Black. The T-Shirt was a gift from a nephew (Michael Magturo) who lived in Chicago then.
That T-Shirt commemorated the return of Michael Jordan from retirement.
MJ’s face was at the back. Smiling.
On Oct. 6, 1993, Jordan retired from the NBA’s Chicago Bulls after 9 years beginning in 1984. He bowed out but not after giving the Bulls three NBA titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
Then he came back to Chicago on March 18, 1995.
When you are good, you are good.
So, Jordan carried Chicago once more to three NBA championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Then he retired again on Jan. 13, 1999, only to return once more beginning with the NBA season of 2001-2002.
But even the greatest basketball player ever could not defy Father Time.
After NBA 2003, and failing to land a championship ring with the Washington Wizards, Jordan retired – this time for good.
He was 40.
When he left the game, his records were so numerous one container van wouldn’t be enough to store them.
Among others, consider:
He matched Chicago’s 6 NBA crowns with his own 6 NBA Finals MVP playing for the Bulls.
He was a 5-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA First Team, 13-time All-Star, and the scoring leader a record 10 straight seasons. He owns the NBA record of 842 straight games scoring in double figures.
His being a 9-time member of the NBA defensive first team remains a record.
He was the first to score a triple-double (14-11-11, points-rebounds-steals) in an All-Star game.
There’s many more records crying to be said here but then, why am I suddenly into His Airness?
Well, another celebrity is also back: Tiger Woods.
Although he is not back from retirement but from a sex scandal that destroyed somewhat his good-boy image, Tiger’s return from four months of self-imposed exile is still cause for celebration.
Because golf is gasping for dear life, Tiger’s appearance in the Masters April 9 becomes the game’s lifesaver.
Will my nephew also gift me with a T-Shirt with the words, “I’M BACK?”
I can only hope (he’s no golf nut).
But if he does, Tiger’s face need not be at the back of the T-Shirt.
Everybody knows who’s back.