Thursday, March 20, 2008

John Rogers Goes One-on-One with Michael Jordan

Sports Illustrated last month had an article about John Rogers' one-on-one basketball adventure against Michael Jordan. The article, found here, starts like this:
What would it be worth to you to be able to utter the greatest barroom boast ever? What if the next time the fellas are sitting around playing Can You Top This?, you could blow away their tales of high school homers and once-sorta-dated-a-sorta-model with this bad boy: "I beat Michael Jordan one-on-one."

I first heard rumor of the feat from a friend in Chicago. The details were hazy: It (probably) occurred at MJ’s basketball camp (about) five years ago, when he lost to a camper for the first time -- an old(-ish) guy who threw up a (musta-been) crazy lefty hook to which Jordan (undoubtedly) yelled, Nooooo!

What’s more, my friend said, the whole thing was (purportedly) videotaped.

A call led to a call led to a name, John Rogers Jr. Now 49, Rogers is a Chicago rainmaker: Princeton grad; founder and CEO of Ariel Mutual Finds, the nation’s largest minority-run mutual fund; friendly with Oprah; even friendlier with Barack Obama (who has used Rogers’s conference room for mock debates). Most important, he could afford Jordan’s Senior Flight School, a three-day summer camp in Las Vegas for the 35-and-over-and-affluent crowd that ran 15 grand, or more than twice what it would cost to go to, you know, actual flight school.