Peeled through a few mags this past weekend. I don't know if you've checked this out, but the MJ interview in Cigar Aficionado is a good one...
Now don't get this mag because of the cover...Yes, that blazer is tight, right?...But what makes the interview a solid one is because Cigar Aficionado
editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken
is pretty humble and he's also fairly unaware of Brand Jordan and the roots of the Jordan legend. That lack of familiarity seems to allow him to get some open answers to simple questions that the Black Cat has diffused in the past at times.
Here are a few excerpts that I pulled from Shanken's interview for you. Drop the dollars and pick one up at your local newstand, cigar store, or wine cellar. You may also pick up Cigar Aficionado online at cigaraficionado.com
Damn, Mike loves Carolina...And I still think he got shafted with the Wizards, but that's a hot topic that you can always get me steamed at...'Nuff said, here you go.MRS: Did you ever regret missing your senior year?Jordan:
Yeah, because I had a great time in college. It was the first time I'd been away from home. I'd met new poeple and made new friends. It was an exciting time. It was just fun.MRS: What was the rush to jump early?Jordan
: It was Coach (Dean) Smith's call. I relied so much on his knowledge. The NBA was an area where I wasn't too knowledgeable. My parents weren't knowledgeable about it, either. And it was a great opportunity. Coach Smith felt that it would be the best opportunity for me to make it in professional basketball. Once he researched the situation to find out where I would go in the draft, then I started weighing the pros and cons.MRS: Wasn't that pretty unselfish of him, because it meant he would lose you the next season?Jordan:
That was totally unselfish. It's the kind of person that he was. He could have said, "You should stay for your senior year. We have a great team with some great new recruits." Kenny Smith and Brad Daugherty were coming on. Our team was going to be good. But he felt like for me, personally, going to the NBA was the best thing, and it was the best opportunity.Here's Mike's opinion of opting for the NBA Draft, is it good for the players?
Is that good? I can be biased from the outside looking in. I'm very supportive of the university, and I would like to see them have the opportunity to defend the championship. In that respect, I think the players should have stayed in school. Just from a selfish aspect, I wanted to cheer for my university. But I don't have the understanding of what the family situations were for these players, or what motivates them. Sometimes you have to follow your dream...MRS: Are these early exits from college good or bad for the NBA?Jordan:
That depends, too. I'm a firm believer htat a player should be 20 years old or older before going to the pros. Anything less than that is potentially bad. You've got a lot of things you have to take into consideration. The lifestyle. Just the mental and physical demands of the NBA htat these kids are going to be dealing with are tough.
And their whole maturity level, not only fo basketball but on the personal side, too, has to be taken into account. If I had been a freshman or even a sophomore, no matter how good I was, I don't know if I would have been ready for what I had to deal with in the professional ranks...
As an NBA executive, if you have to invest in a player, you wnat to see more of the porduct that you are going to invest in...But the impact is even spreading down into the high school ranks. Kids there are not really looking at academics. They just want to get good.
If they can't get into a college, the first thing they're going to say is, 'Well I"m not going to go pro.' That may not be the best thing for them. So this trend trickles all the way into high school.MRS: Who in your mind is the best shooter you've ever seen? Jordan:
Best shooter. Oh boy. that's a great question. Pure shooter?...I would say Brian Winters...He had the most beautiful stroke of all the people whom I can think of. You could go, too, with John Paxson
, who was next to me in the backcourt in Chicago.
(IronDog Note: My choice as well...Damn Frank McGuire
from luring Brian Winters away from Chapel Hill to South Carolina)MRS: Best rebounder?Jordan: Moses (Malone)
...No doubt it was Moses.(Irondog Note: I'd love to be in this conversation
.)MRS: Cigars? We're sitting here. We're smoking a Cuban Monty No. 2. Nothing wrong with that. I went through your humidor here; you have a great selection. When did you first get into cigars?Jordan:
I smoked my first cigar in 1991, when we won the championship. Up to that point, I had never smoked a cigar, never smoked anything. We won the championship, and Jerry Reinsdorf
gave me one of his cigars. He's a big cigar smoker.
The next time I received a cigar was from my good friend, Ahmad Rashad
. He used to get these Churchills from Las Vegas that were dipped in rum. I wouldn't smoke them, but I owuld sit there and chew on them. I got to the point where it became very relaxing.
In Chicago, I tell people this, and they have to understnad the context of what happened. We had to be to the stadium at 6 o'clock for home games, and traffic was so bad it would take us an hour and 15 or and hour and 30 minutes to drive. So now I'm sitting in a car for almost an hour and a half, and I'm very tense. I'm worried about the traffic. So I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game.
MRS: What cigar?
Jordan: At the time, I started out with the Hoyo de Monterrey Doubla Corona.
MRS: That's a good hour smoke.
Jordan: Taking my time. I never rushed. As soon as I walked in, Phil (Jackson) would say 'Ok, you had a long drive.' It became such a relaxing thing to do...I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It's the most relaxing thing...Irondog Note: Damn...Now that's playin'...So there you have it...Go pick the rest up at a newstand near you. I'll throw you another excerpt in soon...23 Still Smokin',Irondog