As we continue to fret about Game Six …
Michael Jordan defined the role of the athlete in popular culture. For the last 25 years or so, he’s been a spokesman for Nike, Gatorade, Haines (ugh) and a variety of other products. With the exception of the current puzzling Kevin Bacon campaign, just about every commercial with His Airness has been wildly entertaining. Here are our favorites.
10. The first Jordan-Mars Blackman commercial: They went on to do a whole series of black and white ads, and in every one of them, Spike Lee looks 12 years old. How does such an annoying person make such good movies?
9. The Bible of Jordan, read by Spike Lee: This cutesy, nostalgic commercial aired almost 20 years after the original Mars Blackman ones.
8. Air and Hare Jordan: “Who’d you expect, Elmer Fudd?” Nike takes us back to the cinematic masterpiece that was Space Jam, which along with Like Mike, is among the finest basketball films ever made. Also on the list: Hoosiers, Above the Rim and White Men Can’t Jump.
7. Tell Me I Can No Longer Fly: Made during the second Bulls runs, MJ dunking from the foul line (albeit barely) as an old(er) man is pretty cool. And we had those shoes.
6. Mia Hamm: Interestingly enough, they don’t play baseball.
5. Failure: The commerical itself isn’t outstanding per se, but made during the Wizards days, it was a statement to fans who didn’t want to see MJ fail. He did fail in Washington, but whatever. Popeye Jones was the starting power forward on his team.
4. Bird-Jordan: Mike’s outfit alone makes this one worthwhile. It’s like Flavor Flav puked on him.
3. Let Your Game Speak: Basically a highlight reel of Jordan’s greatest moments, but with a twist. Random basketball players of all ages absolutely nail the impersonations. The best is definitely the little kid at the end doing “the shrug.”
2. 39 Versus 23: This commercial ranks at the top of our “how’d they do that?” list. It has some great lines too, like “You reach, I teach” and “You shoulda dunked.”
1. Like Mike: Watch it. Embrace it. Have it stuck it your head the rest of the day. One of the best jingles ever. Plus, it totally captured the mentality of the sports world at the time. A whole generation wanted to be like Mike. Hell, they still do. “Sometimes I dream … ”