34 year old Michael Jordan is a 183cm guard from Philadelphia. He played at the University of Pennsylvania graduating in 2000. His first two years found him jumping around leagues in France and Spain before he found a new home in Germany with TSV Quackenbruck. In the 2002-2003 season, he helped lead Quackenbruck into the BBL with exceptional stats in 30 games, 21.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.9 apg. He helped turn The Artland Dragons into a playoff team in the 2004-2005 season as they lost the BBL Quarterfinal playoff series to The Opel Skyliners in five games. That season he averaged in 34 games: 11.1ppg, 3.4rpg, Ast-1(6.4apg), 1.3spg, 2.6bpg, 2FGP: 52.5%, 3FGP: 31.3%. The next season, he was released by The Artland Drgaons, but went to Rhein Energie Cologne and won the BBL championship in 2006 averaging in 33 games: 9.8ppg, 2.3rpg, Assists-4(4.1apg), 1.0spg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 40.3%, FT: 52.2%. The next season, he went to Italy and played at Cantu where he led the league in assists and averaged in 37 games: 13.8ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-1(5.2apg), 2.0spg, 2FGP: 54.6%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 74.0%. The next season, he played in Belgium for Charleroi averaging in 15 games: 9.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 3.6apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 90.0%;. He had injury problems and finished the season in Greece with PAOK. In 2008-2009 after a very short stay in Israel, he played a few months in Bamberg before going to the Cologne 99ers averaging 10,5ppg, 2,4rpg and leading the BBL in assists with 6,2apg. In 2009-2010, he played for Phoenix Hagen helping the team remain in the BEKO BBL. He played 16 games: 8.9ppg, 2.3rpg, Assists-5(5.3apg), FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 73.3%. Last season, he played for Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 19 games: 9.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 80.6%; in Jan.’11 moved to LTi Giessen 46ers (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 14 games: 7.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 72.7%. Michael spoke to German Hoops about basketball and his current situation.
It is September now and your still unsigned. How surprised are you about this? Is the Market even tighter now then the last few years due to the lockout?
I’m really surprised because I thought I played well enough last year to earn a job for this season. I did what I was brought in to do you know? I guess The lockout plays a role, but still it’s a bit disappointing.
What are the biggest difficulties for Michael Jordan finding a team right now? I am sure your agent is working day and night to find you a team?
Honestly, If I knew I would feel better about the situation. My agent Refiloe Lethunya is doing what he can to get me a job. Just a little difficult at the moment and neither of us know why exactly. I have a few theories though.
In 2009, you came a few months into the season to Phoenix Hagen and last year, you were signed early by MBC. Is getting signed sometimes like a lottery where you dont know what will happen?
Yeah unless you sign a multi-year deal it’s always up in the air if you will receive another contract. Especially when your team didn’t do so well the year before.
Most teams are filled at the moment. what is your current strategy about finding a team?
Just have to keep plugging away and talking to teams and see if they aren’t happy or wait until someone gets injured. That is how it normally works out
The most common knock about you is your age. You are 34. How much of a weight does that fill into the equation in 2011 with teams looking for players?
I guess some teams are scared off by the fact that i’m 34 but age is just a number Miles. I feel good and I know I can play
What do you tell critics who say you have lost a step or two?
I don’t say anything to them. I can show them better than I can tell them Miles
What have you been working on this summer the most in your game?
I’ve worked on every aspect of my game this summer.
Does conditioning play more of a role at 34. How does a normal conditioning day look like for you?
Conditioning plays a role at any age. I’ve been running in the woods, and working out with College guys to keep in shape.
An Aubrey Reese who is a few years younger than you signed with PRO A team Gloria Giants Duesseldorf. Is going to a lower league not an option for you?
Miles, I want to play. I’d like to be in a good situation but the bottom line is I want to play and have the opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong yet again.
What is the biggest strength that Michael Jordan can give any team at the age of 34?
I know how to run the team and set the table. Basically, my knowledge of the game. Experience
If you could describe the passion of Michael Jordan to win basketball games in one or two sentences how would you do it?
Some people want to win, the like to win. I HAVE to win. I NEED to win
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Last Movie I saw was ‘Captain America’
The Beko BBL really is missing your big smile now. Which current American player now in the beko BBL will take the big smile award?
Biggest Smile, I have the slightest Idea probably someone on a team that is winning and having fun on the court. Thanks Miles
Thanks MJ for the chat.