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A Man For His Time
By Frank Deford
The moment was perfect for a mediagenic superstar who transcended race, culture and nationality -- and Michael Jordan was perfect for the role.

Get Sports Illustrated's hardbound commemorative edition of the Michael Jordan tribute

  Michael Jordan Cover Gallery
If Michael Jordan has appeared on SI's cover, you'll find it here -- all 47 times -- spanning college, the Olympics, baseball, the NBA Finals and more.
  Jim Huber: Who is there to accept the baton?
Michael Jordan was simply one of the most complete and yet, flawed athletic creations in this planet's history.
  Marty Burns: 23 to Remember
Although it's impossible to catalogue all the great memories of His Airness, here are my 23 favorite Michael Moments.
  SI's Jack McCallum: MJ was one of a kind
Michael Jordan more clearly than anyone else goes out as the best basketball player of all time.
  Rick Reilly: No time to be an airhead
It was either stop at the absolute top or drag your legend through the slop. We'll give you all the time you need. Is 10 seconds enough?
  Praise from his peers
Most of the 50 greatest players in NBA history agree that MJ stands alone, the best to ever step on the court


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