March 10, 2011
Mr. Michael Jeffrey Jordan
23 G.O.A.T Court
Charlotte, NC 32292
When you came into the league (NBA) in 1984 I was seven years old. My big focus was getting to know my new classmates and learning how to read small books with a few words in a big font on each page. You went on to win Rookie of the Year with a stat line of 28.2ppg, 6.5rpg, 5.9apg, and 2.4spg. I had a knack for being able to spell and led my class in gold stars.
The very next year you got injured and played in just 18 regular season games. I can’t say that I was fully aware of how tough that must have been on you then, as I was just in the third grade. Even though management wanted you to sit the year out, you came back, helped the Bulls to the playoffs and put on a show. On April 20th you dropped an NBA playoff record 63 points on Larry Bird and the Celtics in the first round! Unfortunately I was unable to see the game live, as we only had one TV and at eight years old I didn’t get to pick the channels.
At the age of 28 you won your first title with the Chicago Bulls. By this time I had read every article I could get my hands on and every book I could beg my parents to buy for me. I knew so much about you and your teammates that I felt like I was a part of the team too. I was also starting to put quite a few hours of my own into learning the game of basketball.
By the time you had won your third straight title I had just finished my first year of JV basketball. I was just 5’9” at the time but used to pray that I would be tall and even tried hanging on the monkey bars because I heard that’s what you did growing up. My parents are only 5’8” and 5’6”, but your parents weren’t tall either, so I thought I had a chance! The best thing about my game in those days was my Jordans. I had the shoes, the jersey, the shorts and shirts. I watched every VHS tape I could rent from the local video store over and over again trying to pick up on every little thing that made you great. Books written about you consumed my nights.
Throughout my high school life I was never really that good at the game Dr. James Naismith invented. I got my butt kicked over and over again in hoops, but never gave up. I was totally self-taught and finally by my senior year I was catching up physically and skill wise with the other guys. Even though I was more B.J. Armstrong and less Michael Jordan, I had a blast and had fallen in love with the game.
You went to baseball and I followed. I even had my Mom take me out of school one day and we drove 2.5 hours to see a spring training game in Sarasota. You didn’t play much that day, but around the sixth inning as you were leaving, you walked right by us, literally just feet away. I was one happy kid!
You came back to the league and I taped every game. Still have them all on VHS. I began interning in the sports department at the local abc affiliate when I turned 19 years old. This was right as you and the Bulls were on your way to going 69-13 and winning your second title in a row (5th overall). It didn’t take the sports guys at the station long to realize how big of Jordan fan I was. The first time you came to town they sent me out to get a comment on the following day’s big game. It was late, and you had just gotten off the bus at the hotel. You didn’t talk to me, actually no one really did, but I was as close to you, Pip, Phil, Dennis, Randy, Toni, Steve and the rest of the guys as anyone could ever be. I wanted to tell you then how big of a fan I was, but that was against the journalism protocol.
You went on to win your sixth title and I got to see most every game that was in Orlando from 96-98. I even got to come to the locker room and ask Scottie and some of the other guys questions. You always had the most people wanting to talk to you and I was always too nervous then to ask you anything. Instead I would stretch my arm out as far as possible with the mic in hand and battle my way in to get the sound of your voice. The truth is I felt like I knew ya. I didn’t want to ask you one of five routine post game questions the guys always asked. I wanted to go into the Chris Farley “Remember When” skit. I was a FAN!
You retired and I felt lost. The team was dismantled and I couldn’t believe it. I still supported the guys and did my best to keep up with Pip out in Houston when I could. They didn’t really show all that many Rockets games in Central Florida though. In the end, it just didn’t seem right with you not playing.
A few years later you came back! I was 24 years old and had moved from sports to banking as a career. Those days in Washington weren’t exactly like the days in Chicago, but myself and every Jordan fan in the World loved every minute of it!
So I’m not sure if you’re aware, but in August of 2010 I began mevsMJ.com, My Journey to Jordan Camp. I had been waiting for years to be old enough to attend your Michael Jordan Senior Flight School in Vegas. The goal of the site was to chronicle each and every step I took along the way as I prepared myself for your camp, which was to be held exactly one year from then.
I began shaking off the rust, conditioning myself and even attended professional basketball training in the beginning of November. To prepare myself as much as possible, I also began lining up and playing games of one-on-one with top tier players so that I could be at the top of my game when we played 1-on-1 at your camp.
In December 2010, I found out that you canceled the camp this year. I was devastated. I had waited years for this, but was determined not to give up. I knew when you canceled that you didn’t mean any harm. You don’t even know me, yet.
I say all of that to say this.
I want to play basketball with you Mr. Jordan. I want to play you 1-on-1. I want to lace up my Jordans, check the ball in and give you every bit of my basketball game. I get that I’m not the worthiest opponent when it comes to skill level, but there won’t be another human on this entire planet that will put more effort forth than when we play. I promise you that.
I also want to show people that anything really is possible. I want to show everyone that a regular guy who’s not even the best basketball player in his town can play his childhood hero and the greatest basketball player to ever live if HE WORKS EXTREMELY HARD AND BELIEVES!
At the end of the day, I need your help. I need your time. I need you to believe in what I’m trying to accomplish as much as I’ve always believed in you.
I had a dream last week. In the dream, as I was walking out of the gym you were walking in, dressed in Jordan gear, bag hanging loosely over your shoulder. I mustered up the courage and asked if I could please shoot around or play hoops with you. You thought for a half of a second and said, “Sure, let’s go!” The thing is I was nervous even in the dream! The first time you passed the ball to me it felt like it was loaded with concrete. My arms felt like noodles when I took the very first shot. I had so much adrenaline running through me. My dream had come true.
Somehow I hope this letter finds your eyes. Somehow I hope you take the time to read it. I hope that you connect with my dream. I hope you feel my passion. I pray that you say “SURE, let’s play Ken”, and make me vs. MJ a reality!
Kenny Eller (Your BIGGEST Fan and NEXT 1-on-1 Opponent)
If you could retweet this letter to MJ, post it on your facebook, send to friends and family, send it to your local paper, anything to help get this message out so that it may find its place in front of Michael Jordan, I would really appreciate it! Thank you in advance!
For more info on my journey to play Michael Jordan:
*Follow me (@KennyEller) on Twitter
*Click here to LIKE and become a mevsMJ.com Fan on Facebook
*Subscribe and get each NEW post I've written emailed directly to you!
*Watch every video on the mevsMJ.com YouTube Channel