Michael Jordan was a true legend in the last months before his retirement, which allowed him to accept or refuse anything and everything. Vince Carter had notably made him a big offer in 2003… to which His Majesty had put a very clear stop, at first!
Here we are, the All-Star Game 2023 will be held in just a few days. This one has a special flavor, since it marks the twentieth anniversary of Michael Jordan’s last participation in the All-Star Game. . Then aged 39, the six-time champion was playing for Wizards who were clearly overwhelmed in the race for the playoffs, where he was still averaging 20 points.
Unfortunately, such figures were insufficient to get him elected in the five major in the East for voters, and it is therefore as a substitute that the rear was invited to the event. Something that did not go at all to the league as to its peers, as Vince Carter reminded again recently. Holder in the backcourt that year, the crazy dunker had done everything to convince His Airness… to take his place!
Jordan refused to start at the 2003 All-Star Game
Basically I decided to do this but the league encouraged me to do it… And MJ didn’t want to take the place bro… And so I took him aside, it was All Day -Star Game. I said to him: “MJ takes my place”. He told me: “No, you deserved it”. So we went to the field and I continued to say to him: “MJ, take the place, you are going to start my brother”.
I said: “If you don’t take my place, I’ll stay on the bench and I won’t get out… It’s good, I deserved it, we know that, but you’re the starter”. So right before they called him to compose the major five, he still wouldn’t take my place. You see, at the last minute he took his jacket off and he went on the pitch but he didn’t want to go as a starter.
Clearly, Mike didn’t care if he started the game on the field or from the bench, he who didn’t have much to play for anyway. But faced with repeated attacks from Vinsanity, he finally gave in and finished the game with 20 points on the clock, although he was watering badly (9/27 in shooting). A slightly classier way to bow out on the ASG stage.
— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) January 17, 2023
Vince Carter and especially the NBA wanted Michael Jordan to still hold, for his last lap at the All-Star Game. Even if His Airness in person was not hot for that… That is to say the respect he inspired in everyone.