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From The Mailbag!

I will keep this brief and to the point because you guys have a lot to read.

Mj is past his prime. No doubt. MJ is diminishing his legend. True also. But how can you fault a man for not wanting to retire from something he loves to do. The fact that the world wants him to retire so that he doesn't tarnish their GLORIOUS memories of the golden days doesn't change the reality. Michael loves basketball with every fiber of his being. Do you really think he deserves to sit on a shelf so that basketball lore can be preserved? If anything he has earned the right to play the game of basketball that he brought to life.

Think about it. Will you stop reporting on Duke basketball during your prime, or will you do it until it is no longer enjoyable, whether that is 10, 20, or 30 years from now?

Feel free to share my thoughts with your readers if you want to.

Answer - when we look at guys like Ali, or Kareem, or Willie Mays, guys who hung around too long, yes, we wish they had all quit earlier, particularly Ali, who really suffered and continues to suffer. Writing is very different from mastering physical skills, which fade in most people by the time they are in their thirties. If we found ourselves slipping, or not enjoying doing this, we'll just stop. If we do it until our mental skills fade, as younger people's physical skills fade, we'll be out of here in a heartbeat if we're aware enough to realize it. Jordan retired at the peak moment of greatness. Everything he does after that just lessens his aura and makes him more mortal. On the other hand, for the young players of Washington's team, it's a godsend, because most of those guys have no idea what it takes to be great.