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Crest of Hope: Patamon's World - Tai's Digi-pinions - 99.9 Percent

Patamon's World > Tai's Digi-pinions > 99.9 Percent

99.9 Percent

Words by Mac McFearson

Images by NBAE/Getty Images and Lelola.net

12 seconds. Greatness is about to put another notch on itís legacy belt. The move starts. Right down the middle. A sudden stop, accompanied by a crafting push off. Squared up. Perfect form. Rise up. Follow threw---holding it of course. ÖSwish. Michael Jeffrey Jordan---the greatest basketball player of all-time---has just given the Chicago Bulls an 87-86 lead [And an eventual win] with 5.2 seconds left to go in the 1998 NBA Finals in Salt Lake City, Utah, clinching the Bullsí sixth championship in eight years.

 

            By now Iím sure everyone reading this is wondering where Iím going with it. Iím also sure JA is thinking that Iíve flipped my lid and Iím trying to get her to post one of my many sports articles. But JA, and my readers, can rest assured that by the end of this article the comparison of Michael Jordan to Digimon will make perfect sense.

 

            After that play in 98 most people thought Michael Jordanís illustrious career was over. Maybe even he did. But he wasnít a hundred percent sure. By Mikeís own admission he was ď99.9 percentĒ sure he was done playing basketball professionally. That 0.1 percent came in to play far more than anyone couldíve imagined it would have back in 98. Jordan couldnít be done playing yet. Maybe everyone else wanted it to end in perfect storybook fashion, but MJ had different plans. He still had an ďitchĒ to play. He knew he couldnít be quite what he use to be, but he could still be competitive. And he could certainly still entertain people.

 

            Stillness. Peace. A roar. Cheers. Love. Not just for the man, but for what heís done for the sport. Worn down 40-year-old knees bend, arm extends, wrist flicks, ball swishes through net. Free-throw good. Point scored. The point that would maintain Michael Jordanís 30 point per game career scoring average. The date is April 16, 2003 and Michael Jordan has just scored his final NBA point in his final NBA game playing for the Washington Wizards. The legacy---the one that MJ wanted, not the one everyone wanted for him---is complete. The ride is over. The greatest career in the history of the game has come to an end.

 

            Listen to those cheers. Hear that crowd. A road crowd. A Philadelphia crowd. Philly boos everybody, but not Mike. They love him. Just like any true fan of the game, or of sports period, loves him. The real fans: they donít give a damn about the mediaís idea of a legacy, or some storybook ending. Not a single solitary damn. They see the greatness. Just because it isnít what it once was, doesnít mean it never was. The fact that greatness doesnít go out in a blaze of glory, doesnít take anything away from what it accomplished. Just ask Michael Jordan.

 

            So, Iíve been going on about Michael Jordan for a while now, and yet Iím sure most of you still donít get it. You must be thinking to yourselves ďThis is the part where he goes on and one about Digimon and explains with point after point how itís related in any way shape or form to Michael Jordan.Ē Okay, maybe you werenít thinking that exactly, but even if you were, youíd still be wrong.

 

            You want a story about Digimonís coming [if not already here] end---go read what I just wrote about Jordan. Itís the same! Sit down. Shut up. And think about what I just said. The undeniable similarities are right there. There are those who thought that Digimonís run---just like Mikeís---should have ended before it did. I thought Frontier was good, and so did a lot of other people. But for almost every person who liked, thereís one who didnít. Who though that season four was ďÖdragging Digimon on longer then it should beĒ, or that Digimon being bumped from Fox Kids to UPN was ďÖa disgraceĒ. Those so called Ďfansí are wrong, yes, but theyíre still there.

Just like MJís haters who said him playing at 40 was ďÖnot knowing when to quit.Ē or that playing for the woeful Wizards was ďÖa blemish on his great legacy.Ē Those were different people, talking about different things, but theyíre saying almost the same thing.

 

            Next: Michael Jordan had his storybook ending, after which people [When I say people in MJís case Iím generally referring to the media, so called fans, or even fellow pro basketball players.] thought he should call it quits. Now of course Digimon never had a storybook Ďendingí, but no fan of the series can deny when it was in itís prime [Iím not going to go into when that was exactly. Thatís a whole other debate in itself.] it was damn near storybook perfect. And as previously stated, some people [When I say people in Digimonís cases Iím generally referring to so called fans---online and off---and a majority of online Ďmediaí.] also said that Digimon shouldíve quit while it was ahead. Thankfully neither Digimon nor Jordan listened. Both did what they were created to do as long as they could do it well. And Iím sure true fans of both wouldnít have had it any other way.

 

            Lastly: The final and most significant similarity between Digimon and Michael Jordan is the one that sort of ties this whole thing together. Ö99.9 percent. Get it now? Not only do Michael Jordan and Digimon have greatness in common, not only have they both had to deal with criticism for simply continuing to do what theyíre great at, but they also have that certain level of uncertainty in common. That feeling of almost being sure of it all coming to an end, but not quite sure. Because quite frankly, I donít know if Digimon is really over. Just like for a long time people didnít know if Michael Jordanís career was over [some still arenít sure]. Iím just about convinced that Digimon [At least as far as the anime is concerned. Mangas and merchandise are said to be continuing in the future.] is over, but Iím not completely sure. Itís that feeling of 99.9.

 

            Thatís just it, I donít even know if Digimon is really over. And Iím not psychic, so I wonít try to predict when it will end [go and read my previous article ďThe Real-Life Digi-FutureĒ if you want clarification on that]. One thing thatís for sure, it wonít go out in some blaze of glory. And really, is that such a bad thing? Look at Michael Jordan. The end of his career wasnít picture perfect, yet that doesnít take away from anything he accomplished previously. Those MVP and Scoring Title trophies still sit on Mikeís mantel, those Championship banners still hang in Chicago, that shot still hangs in the air in Utah. Same with Digimon. True fans still recognize, Fox Kids has still not gotten anything to draw ratings like Digimon, and great fan sites like PW are still here. You see, I told you by the end itíd all make sense.

 

            And if you want one last sentence to wrap it all up itís this. In Digimonís case---Just like MJís---sometimes it really is better to just fade away.

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