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'Old Age' Threatens To Slow Air Jordan

'Old Age' Threatens To nfl jerseys china Slow Air JordanThe pros: Returning to Earth

November 19, 1992By Melissa Isaacson, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO There are certain things Michael Jordan will concede to time. The hair, forget it. It's a memory. His overall energy level? Not quite what it used to be, no question. And that 30th birthday coming up on Feb. 17, well, you're not going to hold that off no matter how talented you are.

But there is one thing with which you do not tamper. And another that you do not question.

Playing Cheap NFL Jerseys CHINA time and showtime.

''Reduce my minutes?'' he says as if you just proposed burning his North Carolina practice shorts. ''Wait a second. I'm not that old.''

And the entertainment part of his game? ''I still have the desire to create,'' he says. ''That's part of me. Always will be.''

There are, however, changes. Some subtle, some not. Jordan recognizes them as easily as he explains them. But as he works his way through the back nine of his professional basketball career, Cheap NFL Jerseys aware that his game is evolving and more than willing to analyze it, his effectiveness, he says, has not been reduced. It's just tougher to come by.

And that he feels compelled to point out.

''I'll get out if I feel my skills have diminished,'' Jordan says. ''I'm pretty sure people may be saying that now because some things have changed. But I can explain that to everyone. It's not my skills; it's the way people are playing me. I just have to expand my game.''

And expand he has, from mastering his post up move to sharpening his 3 point shooting, Jordan draws parallels between himself and Julius cheap nfl jerseys Erving toward the end of his great career.

''When Dr. J retired, everyone said yeah, he should get out of the game; he's old,'' Jordan says. ''But Dr. J was still a good player. It was just that people, from years of playing against him, knew some of his tendencies and tried to push him into situations where he couldn't be as creative as he used to be. He was taking what the defense was giving him.''

That, Jordan says, is what is happening to him. And this is how he and Bulls coach Phil Jackson analyze the current state of his game:

On Jordan's style: ''It's still too early to tell, but I do think he'll take an easier route in the future than he has had in the past,'' Jackson says. ''Instead of having to find a way to dunk two or three times a game, he's going to go a little bit easier. I think he understands that it's a survival technique. And I think he knows his limitations.''

Jordan says there may be a little more thinking involved now. ''I'm not going to do anything I don't think I'm capable of doing,'' he says. ''There is a danger to go out and start experimenting now. My body and mind are in tune to where, in a game situation, I'm not going to do anything I'm not comfortable with.''

On the entertainment level of his game: ''My game is such that creativity is always going to be a part of it,'' Jordan says. ''But it just happens. It's not something I plan. It was something I was taught very early in my career. To go out and try to please the crowd, you never really play the game you want to play.''

Says Jackson of Jordan's high flying dunks: ''He used to do it for photo opportunities. He did it for the entertainment value. He did it for the in your face effect. Now it's more or less a high percentage shot. He has enough posters floating around.''

On the height of his game: ''I don't think he has any less jump to his game,'' Jackson says. ''Maybe if you're talking an inch or something, but I don't think that's really significant. What is significant is that he's had a lot of wear and tear on his knees, and they obviously groan back at you the older you get. And so he's understanding and sympathetic to his body, but when need be and when he has to go up over the top, it's there.

''I can remember a dunk cheap jerseys he made in the first playoff game against Miami that was just an awesome slam over (Rony) Seikaly that was one of those kinds where he had to power over the top off everybody and look down at the basket.''

Jordan agrees the Jordan magic is available when he needs it. But is he pulling it out as often anymore?

''My game is less spectacular because I'm taking more outside shots,'' he says. ''People saw and can handle my creativity a little better because I was going to the hole more and creating more and dunking on people more and more. It's tough to get in there now because everyone's clogging the paint.

''Most of my inside play now is strictly from post ups. When I'm on the perimeter, either the double team is started, or they back up and give me the jump shot. And if I feel I'm not hitting my jumper, I turn Wholesale Jerseys China around and start backing in as I did against Miami a little bit and against Cleveland quite a bit (in last season's playoffs). It's just an adjustment to the way people play me, and it's not really because of my physical deficiency or deterioration. It's more the way teams are playing me.''

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