On the Retired Athlete Profile

If you aren’t already one of the thousands (and thousands and thousands…) of people that have read Wright Thompson’s ESPN profile on Michael Jordan dealing with his post-NBA life, it is definitely worth your time if you’re a basketball fan or not. Thompson doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that Jordan is a pretty awful person (“He can be a breathtaking asshole: self-centered, bullying and cruel. That’s the ugly side of greatness. He’s a killer, in the Darwinian sense of the word, immediately sensing and attacking someone’s weakest spot.”), but it’s the way he writes about the greatest basketball player ever that is so stunning. It’s great literature, and one of the very few, truly exceptional pieces I’ve read on great athletes dealing with the fact that they aren’t on the court or field anymore, right up there with Richard Ben Cramer’s  “What do You Think of Ted Williams Now?” and Gay Talese’s “The Silent Season of a Hero” piece on Joe DiMaggio

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