Michael Jordan at age 39 played against a younger version of himself that was portrayed by Jamal Crawford in a 2003 Gatorade commercial.
Shortly after being drafted in 1984, Michael Jordan quickly became one of the most marketable athletes in North American sports history. His sudden rise to superstardom due to an incredible rookie season coupled with early bouts with Larry Bird in the Playoffs set MJ off on a course of ‘marketability’ that he never really diverted off of.
Michael Jordan squared off against Bird in McDonald’s commercials, coined the phrase, “It’s gotta be the shoes,” in regards to his Jordans, filmed the iconic ‘Failure’ advert in 1997, and many more. These all however, were filmed during the height of his career with the Chicago Bulls. Following his second retirement, MJ wasn’t all too fond of making a bevy of ‘viral’ advertisements.
He did eventually come out of retirement for two seasons to play with the Washington Wizards and towards the tail end of his final season in the NBA, filmed a commercial with budding Bulls youngster, Jamal Crawford.
Michael Jordan faced off against Jamal Crawford who played a younger version of MJ.
Stories of veterans around the league schooling younger players/rookies on their own team are quite prominent within the NBA. Michael Jordan himself had a couple and in his 2003 commercial for Gatorade, took it to a whole new level by squaring off against a 23 year old version of himself.
The advert saw the 39 year old MJ go to all of his veteran savvy moves out of the post and mid-range, coupled with some fancy footwork. He had mastered the art of the fadeaway to compensate for his lack of athleticism. The younger Michael Jordan was blowing right past the Wizards Jordan as he still had that burst in him.
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Of course, there’s no clear winner shown but the advert ends with a North Carolina version of Jordan showing up to face off against his NBA counterparts.
Jamal Crawford played the Bulls Jordan in the commercial and said, “I can’t even say it was a dream come true because I never dreamed it.” The two were actually considerably close and even played pick-up games together, reportedly never losing a single game when on the court together.