So it has come to this: Chicago's Michael Jordan has become so big, so marketable, that now there is a burger being named after him.
What next? A street? A car? An emerging nation?
McDonald's is offering a "McJordan" sandwich at Chicago area outlets, which contains Jordan's favorite ingredients: a quarter-pound burger with cheese, smoked bacon, onions, barbecue sauce, mustard and pickles.The Chicago Tribune says aside from his $3 million basketball salary, Jordan earns $10- to $15 million or more in endorsements annually.
"It takes an extra special person for McDonald's to name a sandwich after him," Dean Govostis, vice president and advertising chairman for McDonald's Owners of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, told the Tribune. "And Michael can definitely handle that honor."
Salt Lake area McDonalds apparently aren't going to be serving the McJordan, at least for now. "If we wanted to do something here, I guess we could call it the Stockton-Malone burger," says Mark McKay, who owns six area McDonalds franchises.
How about the McMail Deluxe? McKay says any sandwich has to be more than just a fancy name. "In my opinion, if it's an excellent product it's going to sell, regardless of what it's called. Tying a name to the burger will help to market it, but it still has to be good for it to sell."
As for the chance of getting a similar product in Salt Lake, McKay says they have no immediate plans. "But," he adds, "we're always open to good ideas."
Sixers forward Charles Barkley is among those who are taking note of Jazz guard John Stockton's abilities.
After watching teammate Armon Gilliam try to dribble through three defenders a couple of weeks ago, Barkley said, "The only ones who dribble through three guys are me, Michael Jordan, Magic (Johnson), John Stockton, Kevin Johnson and Tim Hardaway. Armon, you don't dribble through three guys."
He is not one for superlatives, but after Stockton brought the Jazz back to overtime wins over both Boston and Seattle last week, Coach Jerry Sloan was duly impressed.
"Many people don't get the chance in a lifetime to coach great players like John, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to. I've been very lucky," said Sloan. "He makes your job a lot easier."
According to NBC baseball announcer Bob Costas, Stockton and Karl Malone could be all-stars in more than one sport.
In a March issue of the Dallas Mavericks Press, Costas was asked by team PR Director Kevin Sullivan to pick an all-star baseball team, composed of NBA players.
Costas named Stockton as a starting second-baseman. "Great hands, good quickness and defense," was Costas' report.
Although he was cast as a backup to Phoenix's Tom Chambers, Malone was selected as a third-baseman.
Other starters picked were Manute Bol , Isiah Thomas * , Charles Barkley Muggsy Bogues , Michael Jordan , Dennis Scott , Ricky Pierce , Alex English, Bernard King, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Dennis Rodman (pitchers).
After being out of basketball for 17 years, Wilt Chamberlain finally got together with the 76ers last week at the Spectrum to have his number retired.
The player some say was the greatest ever, paused to talk to Philadelphia writers about his legendary 100-point game.
"It seems to get bigger and better as the years go by," he said.
He continued, "To be quite honest with you, when I got to the 80s and the fans were yelling for 100 points, I was saying, `Damn, what do you people want?' " I was actually tired. I was having a very good shooting game up to that point, and they actually destroyed my average . . . "When you throw up 63 shots . . . it was actually embarrassing for me for a while there, because only guys like Rick Barry shot that much. Throw up 63 shots in the schoolyard and they have all sorts of names for you."
One observers opinion on Jazz forward Mike Brown's outfit that includes leather pants, shoes, overcoat and gloves: "It looks like he shot a couch."
He has endured years of being compared with his famous sister. But Indiana's Reggie Miller is beginning to rise as one of the better players in the NBA.
In the February issue of Beckett Basketball magazine, Miller's sister, Cheryl, a former USC basketball legend, recalls an on-court encounter.
"When I was a freshman in college, I came home and said to Reggie, `Let's play one-on-one.' He stood up and he was 6-7, and I thought, `Oh, my --.' We went out and he pinned my shot against the backboard. I said, `Let's play H-O-R-S-E.' "
This report includes materials gathered from outside news sources.