The 2004 "Ultimate Jordan" 20th Anniversary Edition Documentary DVD Is A Gem. **** out of ****
"I'm doing it for the love of the game, nothing else." -Michael Jordan, Pre-season 2001.
Undeniably, Michael Jordan loved the game of basketball. In 2001, USA pictures and NBA Entertainment produced "Ultimate Jordan," a two-disc DVD tribute to the NBA'S greatest player and ESPN's Number One Athlete of the 20th Century. The discs included all five of his documentaries, "Come Fly With Me," (1989) "Michael Jordan's Playground" (1991), "Air Time" (1995), "Above & Beyond" (also 1995), and the fifth and final documentary covering his entire championship run and career for the Chicago Bulls in "His Airness" (1998). The two disc set also included the top ten clutch shots, assists, dunks, and moves that prove why this man is the only player in the NBA to win its most prestigious titles, including six championship titles in eight seasons and a first ever "Defensive Player of the Year" and "Scoring Title" Awards in the same season!
However, the 20th edition 2004 Rerelease is epic. By epic, I mean that the package includes a new double-sided third disc a newly double-sided second disc. The new footage includes five of Michael Jordan's greatest games ever. These games include his 1986 1st round 63 point post-season assault against Larry Byrd and the Boston Celtics, his merciless 1990 69 point, most scored ever by Jordan, game against the Clevland Caveliers, his 1993 55-point, most points ever scored by Jordan in the finals, burst against the Phoenix Suns, his 1997 "flu-game," and finally, what would have been an extremely fitting end career-wise had not returning to the Washington Wizards 2001-2003, his game-winning shot to win his sixth championship in a rematch with the Utah Jazz. Forgive me if that was the longest sentence that you have ever read in your entire life. I am definitely a Michael Jordan aficionado, but certainly not "obsessed."
Now, first of all, why only five games? Why stop there? Why not possibly include his game winning shot against the Clevland Caveliers in the 1989 playoffs, his 96-54 game three, the most lopsided victory ever in NBA Finals' history, of the 1998 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz, &/or his unbelievable three-point game against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1992 NBA Finals? If no room not including the first two out of three games, why not the 1992 NBA finals game at least? Also, to the best of my knowledge, every time the Chicago Bulls won a championship, a one-hour documentary, examples are "Unforgetta-'Bulls'" (1998) and "Unstoppa-'BULLS'" (1996) eventuated. Why not include a forth disc while they're at it including all six documentaries and the 1992 NBA Finals game? That opinion is coming from my geek side. This is well sufficient enough, providing well over five hours of material to keep your appetites satisfied.
In my personal opinion, the reason why everyone loves Michael Jordan so much is because of MJ's uncanny intensity, discipline, and will power in stressful situations. His motivational drive and work ethnic on and off the basketball court embodies the primary consummate paradigm of modern NBA superstar players, namely Kobe Bryant today, to perfect. I think outside of the immediate realm of basketball, people became captivated to watch him play before, during, and after his NBA championship title runs. During 2001-2003, when returning to the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan had to face the possibility that his team might not even make the playoffs and definitely accept the fact that they would not make it to the NBA finals. I think just his presence on the court was an impact enough. Yeah, I know I maintain some sort of a reserved, ambivalent attitude towards his recent return in Washington, but he did not make entire "memories in blue" as a Wizard. I believe that for the Washington Wizards his games, mostly his game winner over the Phenoix Suns and Clevland Caveliers, his 55-point outburst against the Utah Jazz, and his unbelievable full-court sprint block against the Chicago Bulls, energized everybody in the league, well almost everybody, anyone remember John Barry's, from the 2001 Detroit Pistons, opinion of Michael Jordan's return ?, in the NBA.
Personally, Michael Jordan's contagious intensity fuels me and probably other people. I recently ran my first marathon, the San Diego marathon, this January and am currently training for the 2005 Los Angeles Marathon on March 6th. I try to apply Michael Jordan's work ethic and motivational drive to other areas of sports and physical challenges. Michael Jordan proved that all you need is strong will power and discipline to overwhelm your opposition. It did not matter if you were skinny at first, it did not matter that people criticized you as a "one man show," and it did not matter if you were a returning 39-year old man veteran player going against NBA superstar players usually twenty years younger than you were. That's why Michael Jordan is the NBA's greatest player, refusing to accept defeat in every aspect of competition. He conducted himself with grace, dignity, and composure off the court. The "Ultimate Jordan" DVD emphatically conveys his legacy and intensity.
P.S. Check out the 2000 IMAX Documentary, "Michael Jordan To The Max." It covers his last championship run in 1998.
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