伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了?

2020-06-17 19:29:56 来源:Q生活区211人评论

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了? KOBE BRYANT SWEARS HE SAW IT—Michael Jordan’s ghost, not two months ago, right there on the floor of Madison Square Garden.

Kobe Bryant发誓,他真的看到了,看到了Michael Jordan灵魂附体,而且就在不到两个月前,在麦迪逊广场花园。

It took the form of DeMar DeRozan, working his mid-range magic against the Knicks. That fadeaway jumper from the elbow. The game-winner. The sly smirk. It was unmistakable—just like Mike—and then, swish, it was gone.

这次乔丹的身影出现在了DeMar DeRozan的身上,他面对尼克的防守使出了一记梦幻般的中距离跳投。这是一记牛角区的后仰跳投。而且还是一记制胜绝杀。当球闯过网心,他脸上露出了狡黠的笑容。肯定错不了,这就是Mike。然后,噗的一下,消失了。

“It was a carbon copy of my stop-pivot-turn-fade, which I learned from Michael,” Bryant tells B/R Mag. “I mean, it was just amazing to see that.”

「这简直就是我转身后仰跳投的翻版,当初我也是从Michael那学来的,」Kobe告诉《B/R》,「我的意思是,能自己亲眼看到这一幕,简直是太不可思议了。」

The truth can now be told: Yes, Kobe Bryant says, he did copy Jordan—”Damn near 100 percent of the technique,” he says. “Damn near 100 percent”—and Bryant in turn became the living example for his young peers, a conduit from the NBA’s greatest of all time to a new generation of stars.

事实正如他所说,:是的,Kobe Bryant说,他确实是从乔丹身上复刻了这一招式。「这技术简直特幺太像了,」他说,「还原度接近100%。」而当Kobe说出这话的时候,自己也变成了年轻一辈们争相模仿的对象,他也继承了NBA史上最伟大运动员的传承者,将这份技艺传给了年轻一代的球星们。

Look closely, talk to enough people around the league—players in their 20s and 40s, coaches, recruiters, star-makers, flameouts, false prophets—and you’ll find bits of MJ’s DNA scattered everywhere:

让我们仔细琢磨一下,跟联盟里的人聊聊,从二十多岁到四十多岁的球员们,到教练甚至球探,从冉冉升起的球星到俨然过气的老将,或者是那些自称能预言未来的评论家,你就会发现,MJ的基因至今仍然散落在NBA的各个角落。

“The closest thing to being as COMPETITIVE as Jordan today is probably a guy like Russell Westbrook. We don’t see that type of demeanor on the court anymore.” — Paul Pierce

「当今联盟里竞争心最接近乔丹的球员恐怕就是Russell Westbrook了。他那样的赛场风格,我们再也见不到了。」–Paul Pierce。

“You take players now, what Kawhi Leonard’s doing—same thing, the FOOTWORK that he’s using. It’s pretty cool.” — Kobe Bryant

「就好比现在的球员,比如Kawhi Leonard的动作,他的脚步就跟Michael很像,非常的棒。」–Kobe Bryant。

“Draymond has some of his EMOTIONAL DOMINANCE—the amount of trash talk and the brashness and the physical sort of manifestation of that confidence.” — Steve Kerr

「Draymond的气势跟他有几分相似,大量的垃圾话并极具攻击性,还有通过身体接触来彰显自信。」–Steve Kerr。

Look up, and you’ll see Jordan’s No. 23 beaming from the chest of LeBron James, a tribute from this era’s defining star to the last.

向上仰望,你还能看到乔丹的23号印在LeBron James的胸前,他是这个时代最终极,最有代表性的球星。

Look down, and you’ll see Jordan’s silhouette in mid-flight—that unmistakable Jumpman logo—on the feet of Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, all members of the Jordan Brand team.

低头寻觅,你还能看到乔丹飞跃扣篮的剪影,飞人品牌的logo,在Jimmy Butler,Chris Paul和Blake Griffin的战靴上,当然还有其他飞人战队的成员们都拥有这项殊荣。

The spirit lingers, but it shrouds a greater truth: The Age of Jordan, at least as we knew it, is over. And that might be the best thing to happen to the NBA since, well, the Age of Jordan began.

他的精神依然留存在这个联盟里,却掩盖了一个更重要的事实:乔丹的时代,至少我们所熟知的那个时代,已经终结了。这也许是自乔丹时代开创以来,所发生的最好的事情了。

For nearly three decades, NBA stars fought against an impossible ideal—MJ himself, the GOAT. If you jumped high (Jerry Stackhouse), dunked hard (Harold Miner), dropped 50 points (Tracy McGrady!) or did it all with a smile (Grant Hill), you got the label: “Next Michael Jordan.”

三十年来,NBA的诸多球星们都在和一个不可能被击败的理想人物战斗:Michael Jordan,史上最伟大的篮球运动员。如果你跳得很高(比如Jerry Stackhouse),扣篮很棒(比如Harold Miner),单场砍下50分(比如Tracy McGrady)又或者带着微笑打球(比如Grant Hill),那你马上就会被贴上一个标籤:「乔丹继承人」。

“I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan,” Vince Carter tells B/R Mag, recalling a mantra that could have been spoken by all of them. “You’re not putting that on me.”

「我也不想成为下一个Michael Jordan,」Vince Carter告诉《B/R》,他回忆起他们这个群体所常说的一句口头禅,「你不能给我扣上这样的标籤。」

But a new generation of stars, thanks to the rapid evolution of the game and the passage of time, has been allowed to blossom, unfettered by trite comparisons. So Russ Westbrook is just Russ Westbrook, Steph is just Steph, and the quest to reincarnate MJ is mercifully over.

但是随着新一代球星的兴起,同时也得益于比赛的快速进化以及时光的飞逝,这批球星逐渐开花结果,终于不用再受这老一套的比较所束缚。因此,才有了Russell Westbrook就是Russell Westbrook,Curry就是Curry,那种乔丹继承人的说法终于结束了。

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了?

“When you’re looking at players out there now,” Bryant tells B/R Mag, “you’re saying, ‘OK, there’s not a next Michael Jordan.’ It’s not about the surface stuff. It’s about: Are they approaching the game the way he did? … That is what it means to be a Michael Jordan—to be a Kobe. That is what we should be looking for.”

「当你看到现在联盟中的球员,」Kobe说,「你会说,『好吧,终于没有下一个Michael Jordan了。』不仅仅是面上。而是:他们正在接近他曾经的水準吗?……实际上也意味着成为下一个Michael Jordan,或者是下一个Kobe。这才是我们应该去寻找的。」

Ask DeRozan who he wanted to be growing up in the ’90s and 2000s in Compton, California, and the answer is easy: “I watched every single thing Kobe did, Jordan did, and tried to emulate it,” he tells B/R Mag.

如果在上世纪末,去加利福尼亚的康普顿,问问年幼的DeRozan,他长大后想要成为什幺样的球员,答案将会非常简单:「我看了Kobe的每一个动作,乔丹的每一个动作,我要努力模仿它。」他告诉《B/R》。

And though MJ’s spirit may stir within him, ask DeRozan if there’s any vestige of MJ left in today’s players and, well: “I don’t think so.”

儘管MJ的意志还会影响着他,但现在再去问DeRozan,如今球员中是否还有MJ的痕迹吗?好吧,「我可不这幺认为。」

OVERHEARD AT THE UNITED CENTER at a recent Bulls game, where two fans were admiring a large photographic display:

在联合中心体育馆观看一场近期公牛队的比赛,两位球迷正在欣赏一幅巨大的海报。

Fan No. 1: “Oh, wow! Look at that guy! He’s wearing the original Jordans!”一号球迷:「哇!看看那家伙!他穿着原版的乔丹!」

Fan No. 2: “Dude! That is Michael Jordan.”二号球迷:「仁兄!那可是Michael Jordan!」

Relaying the story, former Jordan teammate-turned-Bulls commentator Bill Wennington chuckles and shakes his head: “It’s like, OK, they know his sneakers, but they didn’t know who he was.”

说起这个故事,前乔丹的队友,现在转型成为现场评论员的Bill Wennington笑着摇摇头:「好吧,就像是他们知道乔丹品牌的运动鞋,却不认识乔丹。」

Today, an entire generation knows Crying Jordan better than the actual Michael Jordan.好吧,如今这一代人对乔丹品牌的认知度已经远远超过了Michael Jordan。

Even in NBA locker rooms, the institutional memory is quickly fading. Only 17 active players competed against the creaky, Wizards edition of Jordan, who sank his last field goal 14 years ago.

即便是在NBA的更衣室里,这种传统也在快速的消退。现役球员中只有17人曾经跟巫师队的那个老迈的乔丹同场竞技过,而那个乔丹的最后一粒进球也是发生在14年前的事了。

Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram was nine months old when Jordan clinched a sixth championship with his iconic jumper over Utah’s Bryon Russell.

当乔丹在Bryon Russell的头顶用一记招牌的跳投锁定了他的第六座总冠军的时候,湖人队的新秀Brandon Ingram只有九个月大。

Steph Curry, now an elder statesman and an idol at age 29, was 10 years old.那时如今联盟中的Stephen Curry,一位29岁的联盟偶像,那时也不过10岁大。

“I didn’t really appreciate what I was watching,” Curry tells B/R Mag.「那时我还无法真正欣赏我所看到的比赛,」Curry告诉《B/R》。

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了? Curry’s most vivid memories as a young fan were of Bryant, Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson, and of friends copying Bryant’s fadeaway. (“I was actually a Steve Nash guy,” Curry says.)

Curry年轻时关于篮球最生动的记忆是关于Kobe,Tim Duncan和Allen Iverson的,还有他和朋友们一起模仿Kobe的后仰跳投的日子。(「实际上我更是一个Steve Nash的拥趸。」Curry说。)

Yet Generation Steph is playing in a world MJ practically created. The sports-drink endorsements, the signature shoes, the branding, the very idea of becoming a brand—all of it came from the Jordan template. And his imprint is everywhere.

儘管如此,Steph这一代球员仍然在MJ所创造的篮球世界里长大。从运动饮料到签名鞋,到球鞋品牌以及衍生出自己品牌,这些都是乔丹留下的模板。他的「複製品」随处可见。

“He established the blueprint of a great player who transcended his sport, who had market appeal, commercial appeal,” says Grant Hill. “Other than that, there really wasn’t an athlete who did it on that level.”

「他创立了一个伟大运动员的生涯典範,他已经超越了体育本身,具有市场吸引力和商业价值,」Grant Hill说,「除了他之外,再也没有一位运动员达到了他这样的高度。」

Jordan’s rookie-year Bulls jersey outsells all other NBA throwbacks by a factor of three—more than LeBron’s rookie jersey, more than Kobe’s 2007 jersey (his first as No. 24), and more than any jersey in the NFL or Major League Baseball. “If you added up all of the NBA athletes together,” says sports industry analyst Matt Powell, “it wouldn’t equal Jordan in one year.”

乔丹在公牛队新秀赛季球衣的销量比其他所有NBA球员的复古球衣的销量加起来还要多两倍。,比LeBron的新秀球衣要多,比Kobe在2007年改穿的24号球衣要多,甚至比NFL和MLB的任何一件球衣的销量都要好。「如果你把所有NBA球员加起来,」体育产业分析师马特-鲍威尔说,「也比不上乔丹新秀赛季的球衣销量。」

Indeed, MJ is everywhere and nowhere at once: Thirteen players wore No. 23 this season, but only three—James, Anthony Davis and Wes Matthews Jr.—have cited Jordan as the reason.

确实如此,一时间MJ无处不在又无所不在:本赛季有13位球员身穿23号球衣,但只有三名球员是因为乔丹而选择了这个号码,詹皇,Anthony Davis和Wes Matthews Jr.。

The hero-ball style that Jordan inspired may be as out of fashion as acid-washed denim in today’s pace-and-space, three-point-obsessed NBA. And just three of the league’s top 20 scorers this season play Jordan’s once-glamorous position of shooting guard (DeRozan, Beal and CJ McCollum), while only two shooting guards made the All-Star Game (DeRozan and Klay Thompson) alongside eight point guards.

乔丹的英雄主义打球风格或许就像是酸冼的丹宁一样逐渐不再那幺流行了,如今的NBA更强调节奏和空间,更痴迷于三分球。在本赛季的20大得分高手中,只有三个人来自于乔丹曾经绽放了无限光彩的位置,得分后卫。(DeRozan,Bradley Beal和C.J. McCollum),而在联盟中所有的得分后卫中,仅有2人入选了全明星(DeRozan,Klay Thompson),而与此同时却有8名控球后卫入选。

But today’s stars are still chasing Jordan, who remains the career leader in postseason points, with 5,987 (313 points ahead of LeBron). And he remains the only player in the last 40 years to post a career average of 30 points a game while shooting close to 50 percent from the field.

但当今的球星依然追随着乔丹的足迹,后者仍然保持着联盟季后赛总得分5987分的纪录(领先LeBron 313分)。同时他还是过去40年里唯一一位职业生涯得分超过30分,同时投篮命中率接近50%的球员。

Jordan was never fond of the comparisons and preferred not to revive them by commenting for this story, says David Falk, his longtime friend and former agent.

乔丹的老朋友和曾经的经济人David Falk说,乔丹从来都不喜欢拿这些来比较,当别人用这种事情来评述他的伟大时他也不太乐于接受。

But, Falk adds: “I’ve said to many of my friends, ‘God, if Michael played today, he’d probably average like 60.’ And I really believe that.”

但是,Falk补充道,「但是我跟许多朋友们说过,『天吶,如果Michael现在还来比赛,他或许还能场均得个60分。』我是真的这幺认为的。」

EVERYONE WANTED TO BE MICHAEL JORDAN. But to be the next Michael Jordan was both a compliment and a burden, the ultimate aspiration and an unshakeable curse.

每个人都想要成为Michael Jordan。但成为下一个Michael Jordan既是一份殊荣也是一种负担,这是一种终极的渴望,也是难以撼动的诅咒。

“I want to be me, man,” Carter recalls of his sentiments as a springy 6’7″ guard out of UNC in the late ’90s. “I just don’t want to put that pressure on myself. In no way, shape or form I’m thinking that I am him, will be him or could be him.”

「我就想成为我自己,伙计,」在上世纪90年代,身高198公分,又同样毕业于北卡的Carter回忆起当时的情绪时说,「我只是不想背负这样的压力。不管是从体型还是动作,我都不认为我就是他,想要成为他或者能够成为他。」“As soon as I walked in, my first year, that’s what you hear. For as cool as it may be, you don’t want it. You’re like, ‘No, thank you.'”

「当我进入这个联盟,我的头一年,这就是你所听到的。虽然这看上去很酷,但是你却一点都不想要这样的称谓。你的反应就是,『不,谢了。』」

In 2000, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest and jumped over 7’2″ center Frederic Weis at the Olympics. But his teams often faltered in the playoffs, and Jordan clones were simply not permitted to fail.

在2000年,Carter赢得了当年的扣篮大赛,后来他又在奥运上飞跃了218公分的中锋Frederic Weis。但他的球队在季后赛中却步履维艰,而作为乔丹的化身,他怎幺能允许失败呢?

“There was a point where [critics said], ‘He doesn’t have the approach, his mentality is not like Michael Jordan,'” Carter recalls. “You’re right. Because I’m not Michael Jordan. You’re right. You’re exactly right. And that was starting to get frustrating.”

「有一段时间(来自评论界的声音)『他毫无办法,他的精神力远不及Michael Jordan』」Carter回忆道,「你说的没错。因为我就不是Michael Jordan。你说的没错,你说的太对了。从那以后,我就开始变得消沉起来。」

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了? The Bulls’ rivals wanted their own Jordan, for the thrills and the championship parades. Marketers wanted another Jordan, to keep selling shoes and sports drinks, even if stars played nothing like Mike.

公牛队的宿敌们也想要拥有他们自己的乔丹,拥有属于他们的激情时刻以及冠军游行。商人们也想要另一个乔丹,好让他们的篮球鞋和运动饮料永远大卖,即便是他们的球技无法达到Mike的水準也无所谓。

Pundits fell into a hyperbolic trap, throwing around “the next Jordan” indiscriminately.专家们也陷入了这样的舆论陷阱,肆无忌惮的钦点出一个又一个的「Jordan接班人」。

“No remorse at all,” says commentator Dick Vitale, who reportedly slapped the “Baby Jordan” tag on Miner and stamped Stackhouse and Jerome Harmon—a flashy Louisville guard who lasted just one NBA season—as Jordan heirs.

「一点也不后悔,」体育评论员迪克-维塔尔说,他曾经给迈纳贴上了「小乔丹」的标籤,还把Stackhouse和Jerome Harmon称作是乔丹继承人,儘管这位来自路易斯维尔的后卫只在NBA里混迹了一个赛季就销声匿迹了。

In Vitale’s recollection, he merely called players “Jordan-esque,” not “next”—”and if I did it the other way, then I say I’m guilty,” he tells B/R Mag, chuckling. “You get caught up in the emotion of a game, an emotion of a moment, crowd going wild, you see a spectacular play, so who are you going to identify him with? Michael Jordan.”

在维塔尔的记忆里,他很少把球员称作是「像乔丹一样」,或者「下一个乔丹」,「如果我用其他的方式来称呼过他们,那幺我要为此而感到抱歉。」他笑着跟《B/R》说,「你会沉浸在比赛的氛围里,在那个特定的时刻,观众们都为之疯狂,看到一个无与伦比的招式,这个时候你会认为他像谁?毫无疑问,Michael Jordan。」

The earliest “next Jordan” references arrived in 1983, mostly referring to small-town kids with big dreams. In 1984, the term was applied to Kevin Madden, a Virginia prep phenom who had committed to North Carolina.

最早的「下一个乔丹」诞生于1983年,大致对应了穷乡僻壤来的孩子还胸怀大志。1984年,这个词组被用在了Kevin Madden身上,他是一个被北卡录取了的,来自于维吉尼亚的体育预科生。

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了? The first “next Jordans” of any prominence appeared in 1986: Len Bias, a star at Maryland; Roy Marble, a freshman at Iowa; and Ron Harper, then starring at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. (“I can’t be him,” Harper would reply.) The last “next Jordan” was that other Ohio-born prodigy, dubbed “The Chosen One” in high school, but rarely celebrated on his own merits after becoming the NBA’s top draft pick in 2003. (“I’m who I am,” LeBron James said in 2012. “Hopefully the comparisons will be Who’s the next LJ?—not MJ.”)

首个着名的「下一个乔丹」出现于1986年:Len Bias,一位来自马里兰大学的球星;Roy Marble,一位爱荷华大学的大一新生;以及Ron Harper,一位迈阿密大学剑桥分校的球星。(「我无法成为他,」哈珀会这幺回答你的。)而最后一位「下一个乔丹」同样是出生于俄亥俄州的天才少年,在高中时代就被称为「天选之子」,但却丝毫不愿夸耀自己成就的年轻人,他在2003年成为了NBA的状元秀。(「我就是我,」LeBron James在2012年说道。「希望人们会去比较谁将成为下一个LJ,而不是MJ。」)

A review of newspaper stories between 1990 and 2010 turned up more than 3,000 references to “Next Michael Jordan,” “Next Jordan” or “Heir Jordan.” They came from coaches and players, columnists and player reps, hype men and ad executives. “The agents, the announcers,” says former Commissioner David Stern. “They were adding a little bit too much pressure to already-great players who shouldn’t have had to deal with the shadow of Michael.”

据统计表明,在1990至2010年间,报纸媒体一共提到了3000余次「下一个Michael Jordan」,「下一个乔丹」或者「乔丹继承人」。这其中有教练也有球员,有专栏作家也有球员代表,有为媒体造势者也有广告界人士。「球员经纪人,代言人,」前NBA总裁David Stern说,「他们给原本已经非常伟大的球员带来了太多额外的压力,他们本来就不应该活在Michael的阴影下。」

While some scoffed at the very idea of a next Jordan, Sonny Vaccaro eagerly sought them out. The former Nike executive, who was credited with signing Jordan, tells B/R Mag: “I believed in looking for the best ‘next.’ That was my life.”

虽然有人对下一个乔丹这样的主意嗤之以鼻,Sonny Vaccaro还是渴望找到这样的人。前Nike高管,签下乔丹的关键人物告诉《B/R》:「我相信并执着于寻找『下一个』。这就是我的人生。」

The young star who had the best chance to become “legendary,” Vaccaro says, was Penny Hardaway—”one of the greatest players that I have ever seen. He had that other thing: charisma.”

在Vaccaro看来,最有机会成为下一个「传奇」的年轻人,就是Penny Hardaway。「他是我见过的最伟大的球员之一。而且他还有别样的东西:超凡的魅力。」

Hardaway’s turn came in the 1997 playoffs, with the Orlando Magic, when he torched the Miami Heat for three straight games, going for 42, 41 and 33 points.

1997年季后赛,Hardaway的机会来了,他代表奥兰多魔术队对上迈阿密热火队,接连三场他都手感火热,分别得到了42分,41分和33分。

“The way he played in the last three games, we are looking at the next Michael Jordan,” Magic coach Richie Adubato said at the time. “No question about it.”

「他在最后三场比赛中打球的方式,就像是下一个Michael Jordan,」时任魔术队总教练的Richie Adubato表示,「这一点毋庸置疑。」Hardaway has no recollection of that quote, or anything similar, and doesn’t recall any discomfort at the comparisons.Hardaway自己却对这样的评价毫无印象,甚至连相似的表述也不曾记得。他也不记得对这样的比较有过什幺牴触情绪。

“Michael set the bar really, really high,” he tells B/R Mag. “I don’t think it was anything negative.”

「Michael为大家树立了一个相当高的标竿,非常高,」他告诉《B/R》,「我不认为这有什幺不好的。」

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了?

Off the court, “Lil Penny” commercials gave Hardaway crossover appeal. But injuries curtailed his greatness and cut short his career in 2008.

在球场之外,「Lil Penny」公司注册了Hardaway的胯下运球标识。但是接连不断的伤病却令他的伟巨巨打折扣,并早早的在2008年就结束了他的职业生涯。

Google searches for “the next Michael Jordan” had begun dropping by then, and, aside from a brief spike in early 2013 as James was picking up his second championship, the phrase has been a mere blip ever since. Though the label has lingered, no top prospect since James got saddled with the expectations. The lineage effectively ended with him.

自那以后,在google上搜索「下一个Michael Jordan」这样的词组就开始逐渐出现了下滑态势,当然了,除去2013年詹皇捧得第二座冠军奖盃时所创下的巅峰状态之外,这个词组都逐渐丧失了他原有的魔力。虽然这个说法依然存在,但除了詹皇之外,再也没有顶级新秀再背负上这样的期待了。乔丹继承人的「血脉」就此终结。

As it turns out, a new generation was rising, ready to fill the void with their own brand of dominance and showmanship and mind-bending talent. It’s just that they look and play nothing like Michael Jordan.

此消彼长,随着「下一个乔丹」的没落,新的一代冉冉升起,并逐渐用他们自己的统治力,表现力和令人折服的天赋来填补起他们留下的空缺。只不过,他们的比赛和打球的方式却再也不像Michael Jordan了。

When Hardaway steps in the gym at Memphis East High School, where he now serves as head coach, he sees players dancing with the basketball as if they’re Kyrie Irving.

当Hardaway步入曼菲斯东区高中的篮球馆时,他看到球员们正在场地上戏耍着篮球,就好像他们是Kyrie Irving一般。此时的Hardaway已经是这所中学的篮球教练了。

“A lot of fancy ball-handling,” Hardaway says. “Making multiple moves, counter moves, the different spins off the glass.”「许多花哨的控球技巧,」Hardaway说,「花样繁多的运球方式,进攻技巧,在篮板上找到不同的旋转角度。」

And he’s had to admonish his players more than once for launching from 30 feet, like a band of mini-Steph Currys.而且他也不止一次的劝解自己的弟子,不要在距离篮框30英呎的地方就出手投篮,就好像他们是一群小Curry一样。

“They’re just not making as many as Steph,” he says, chuckling. “They’ll just say, ‘I can really shoot them!’ And I’ll go, ‘Yeah, well prove it to me.’ If you prove it to me, then you have that right.'”

「只不过他们投进的次数不像Steph那样多,」他笑着说,「他们会说,『我真的能投进的!』而我会反驳道,『那就证明给我看。』如果你能证明给我看,那幺我就承认你说的是对的。」

“They want to be Kyrie and Steph, for sure.”「他们想要成为Kyrie和Steph那样的球员,这一点毫无疑问。」

STEPH CURRY SEES THE VIDEOS flooding his social feeds. They come from proud parents and youth coaches and boastful 20-somethings. They want to share the shot—the one they hit from 30 feet, or from half court.Stephen Curry在社交网络上看着各种各样的影片。分享这些影片的有自豪的家长,也有年轻的教练,还有20岁出头自信心膨胀的小伙子。他们想要分享自己的超远投篮,起码距离篮框30英呎,甚至是半场的距离。

“Somebody will hit a deep three, and they’ll tag me in it, saying, ‘Such and such did his best Steph Curry impersonation,'” Curry tells B/R Mag. “Just random people from all over the country—all over the world.”

「有些人会投那些超远三分,他们会在影片下打上我的标籤,说,『如何如何模仿了Stephen Curry的投篮绝技,』」Curry告诉《B/R》,「他们都是来自世界各地的各种各样的人,各个国家的都有。」

For decades, basketball fans all wanted to be like Mike. Now everyone wants to shoot like Steph.

数十年来,篮球爱好者们都想要成为Mike那样的人。而现在,人们都想要像Curry那样投篮。

“I hear it a lot,” Curry says. “It’s pretty special.”「我听过不少这样的说法,」Curry说,「这看上去很特别。」

Stackhouse sees it every day in Toronto. His players, members of the Raptors’ D-League team, are doing Russell Westbrook impressions.

这样的事情Stackhouse每天都会在多伦多看到。他的球员们,暴龙队在发展联盟的球员,都为Russell Westbrook的打球风格而感到佩服。

“And then they start doing the high-stepping like LeBron,” Stackhouse tells B/R Mag. “And then they shoot the ‘three to the temple,’ like Carmelo Anthony.”

「一会,他们开始像LeBron那样走个霸王步,」Stackhouse告诉《B/R》,「又过了一会,他们命中三分,像Carmelo Anthony那样在太阳穴附近摆个酷酷的三分手势。」

He laughs.说完,他大笑起来。

“I think they take a little bit of all of them now, as opposed to it being like one guy,” Stackhouse says. “Everybody wanted to be Jordan and stick their tongue out and fade away. They got a mix of all these guys now that they try to pattern their game after. I think it’s pretty cool.”

「我觉得他们现在回汲取他们所有人的星星点点,而不像以前那样,只有一个人是全民偶像。」Stackhouse说,「以前所有人都想要跟乔丹一样,他的言辞他的后仰跳投就是一切。而现在他们从所有这些人身上学到了许多东西,并以此来点缀他们自己的比赛。我觉得这也挺酷的。」

The template has been shattered into a thousand pieces and reassembled into an array of wondrous hybrids: box score-stuffing point guards (Westbrook, James Harden), small forwards with guard skills (James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo), giants who can pass and shoot (Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns).

一块模板被震碎成千万块不同的碎片,然后又重新聚集成一个奇妙的集合体:数据统计爆錶的控球后卫(Westbrook,James Harden),拥有后卫一样能力的小前锋(詹皇,Kevin Durant,字母哥),传射俱佳的大个子(Davis,Karl-Anthony Towns)。

The game has changed radically—more wide-open, more free-flowing, less grabbing on the perimeter, less banging in the post—and it no longer demands, or rewards, the repertoire of footwork and mid-range isolation artistry that made Jordan elite.

比赛也彻底的发生了变化,更多的空位投篮,更多的无球跑动,外线的防守动作更乾净,内线的碰撞也更少了。而且像乔丹赖以成名的那些脚步动作和中距离单打也都逐渐没有了市场,也更不被褒奖。

To be like Mike today would mean working the seams that are now scorned as “inefficient.”像Mike那样几乎意味着「低效」的打球方式。

“His game was built around 15 feet—and now you’re told that that’s a bad place to be,” says Jeff Van Gundy, who spent most of the 1990s agonizing over how to defend Jordan as a Knicks coach.

「他的比赛主要集中在距离篮框15英呎左右的範围,而现在,人们认为这块区域并不理想,」Jeff Van Gundy说,他曾经在上世纪90年代中期作为尼克队的总教练,为如何防守乔丹伤透了脑筋。

“And I wonder,” Van Gundy continues, “if he was playing now, would someone try to convince him to move out [to the three-point line]—versus one-dribble pull-up, which is the most indefensible shot in the game? Or the turnaround in the post, which they say is not a great shot? I think that’s one of the reasons why people aren’t even trying to play like him anymore.”

「我就想啊,」Van Gundy说,「如果他还在打球,有人能说服他,撤到三分线之外会更高效吗?而不是像他以前那样,运一步,然后拔竿跳投。到底哪一样才是比赛中更难以防範的绝技?还是说在低位背身单打,他们现在认为这不是一个好的投篮方式?我想这也是人们不再想要模仿他的原因之一了。」

James, with three rings and four MVP trophies, is by far the dominant player of his generation. Yet there is no “next LeBron” debate, perhaps because there’s a short supply of 6’8″ kids with Adonis-like bodies and Magic-like passing vision. “They’re not saying Antetokounmpo is the next LeBron,” says Grant Hill, “but that was happening with Mike. I think it was bigger than basketball.”

手握三枚总冠军戒指和四座MVP奖盃的詹皇,是他这一代人里最具统治力的球员。然而现在却从来没有过「下一个詹皇」的争论,或许也因为再也没人同时拥有Adonis一般203公分的身高,同时兼具魔术师般传球能力的人吧。「即便是字母哥,他们也没有把他称作是下一个LeBron,」Grant Hill说,「但这事在Mike身上频频发生。我猜是因为他已经超越了篮球本身。」

But the boyish Curry resonates, perhaps because his greatest skill is, simply, the fundamental element of the game:

但是Curry的球技在孩子们当中引起了共鸣,或许因为他本身最了不起的技巧就是比赛中的基本要素。

Not everybody can dunk, but everybody can dribble, and everybody can shoot.— STEPH CURRY

并不是所有人都能扣篮,但每个人都可以运球,所有人都可以投篮。-Stephen Curry。

And so coaches everywhere are managing a new challenge: a millennial army of aspiring Stephs.

于是所有的教练都遇到了一个新的挑战:拥有千年一遇感召力的Steph。

Ron Harper and Paul Pierce see it in their own kids. (“Now it’s just pretty much chuck up a three-pointer and see how many you can make,” Pierce laughs.)

Ron Harper和Paul Pierce都在他们孩子的身上看到了他的影子。(Pierce大笑着说,「现在他们非常喜欢投三分,而且看看你能进多少个。」)

And of course, there’s LaVar Ball, who has trained his three sons to become virtual Curry clones.

而且,当然了,现在还有LaVar Ball,他把他的三个孩子都训练成了翻版的Curry。

“I think kids are saying, ‘I want to be me—and I want no limits on what I can do,'” says Seth Berger, the former AND1 founder and head coach at the Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “And I think that’s a very good thing. Kids should explore the reaches of their abilities.”

「我猜孩子们都在说,『我想要成为自己,我不想为自己所能做到的事情加上束缚,』」Seth Berger说,这位前And1篮球鞋的创办者,现任宾夕法尼亚,韦斯特切斯特市,韦斯特城学校的篮球队教练说,「而我认为这是一件非常棒的事情。孩子们应当拓展他们能力的边界。」

When Cameron Reddish, one of the nation’s top prospects, asks Berger if he can shoot when he comes across half court, the coach replies, “If you’re open.” He went 2-of-5 from 35 feet this season.

当Cameron Reddish是一位全美顶尖的潜力新秀,他问Berger教练能否一过半场就可以出手投篮的时候,教练回答道,「如果没人防你,为什幺不呢?」本赛季,他在距离篮框35英呎远的地方一共出手了5次,命中2球。

“If Cam is open at two steps behind the NBA [arc], that’s a really good shot in my opinion,” Berger says. “I want him to take that shot.”

「如果Reddish在距离NBA三分线外两步远的地方无人防守时出手,我都认为是好球,」Berger说,「我想要他大胆尝试。」

Shoot like Steph? Sure, he says, but please don’t stop there.像Steph一样投篮?当然了,他说,但可不要止步于此。

“Hopefully, it inspires them to work on their game and not just try to go out and do the stuff that I do,” Curry tells B/R Mag. “Because I want them to know how much time I put into it.”

「希望这能激发他们提高他们的竞技水準,而不是仅仅在模仿我所做到的事情,」Curry告诉《B/R》,「因为我想他们知道我在这件事上倾注了多少心血。」

If he were asked the same question two decades ago, when his No. 23 jersey dotted every playground and his face dominated every commercial break, Michael Jordan might have said the same: Come fly with me, sure, but work on your reverse pivot first, kid.

如果这个问题放在二十年前,当不管在什幺场地都有人穿着23号球衣,在所有商业暂停时都能看到他的面孔的时候,Michael Jordan或许会说:想要跟我一起飞翔?没问题,不过先练好的你的背转身吧,小子。

The lesson of Jordan was ultimately not about elevation or artistry or competitive fire, but the fundamental work that came behind it all. You may not see obvious traces of Jordan in today’s NBA, but the rest is there.

乔丹的例子,并不是关于提升,艺术性或者竞争性,而是所有这些背后的基本功。在当今的NBA里,或许你已经看不到那些和乔丹直接相关的东西了,但其他的东西并没有变。

“It doesn’t matter your style of play,” Bryant says, his tone turning emphatic. “What matters is how you approach the game.”

「你的比赛的方式并不重要,」Kobe说,他同时加重了语气,「重要的是你该如何为比赛做好準备。」

If Bryant came the closest to approximating Jordan—and nearly all of the two dozen people interviewed for this story says he did—it was not only because of a gift for athletic mimicry, but also a passion for the work itself, a devotion to detail that Jordan himself embodied.

如果Kobe是最接近乔丹的人,而且差不多有两打人都在採访中这样认可他,但其实并不是因为Kobe拥有最接近乔丹的运动天赋,而是因为他对篮球所注入的激情,以及乔丹对细节所呈现出的献身精神。

“The thing that I think is the most important in the comparisons is not the output of the career, but the technique within that,” Bryant says. “That’s what’s most important for the next generation of players, is to understand the technique. The footwork, the spacing, the timing, the basics. That’s the most important thing.

「我认为这组对比中最重要的部分并非他们职业生涯所取得的成就,而是其中的技术」Kobe说,「这也是对下一代球员而言最重要的部分,就是去理解这些技术。脚步,空间,时机,基本功等等。这才是最重要的事情。」

“Forget about the endorsements, forget about the rings for a second, let’s forget about ballet movements and all this other s–t. Let’s forget about that. The technique is what’s most important. Because that is what’s actually timeless, that the next generation can study and carry on and then pass on to the one after that.”

「忘掉那些代言吧,暂时忘掉总冠军,让我们忘掉那些表演时刻以及所有其他没用的东西。让我们忘记这些。技术才是真正最重要的。因为,这些才是永恆的。下一代人还可以研究并将这些技术传给下一代,并代代相传。」

The ghost lingers, flittering in and out of view, his influence more subtle but irrefutable.他的精神依然还在,时不时的都会再现于球场之上,他的影响力相比之前已经稀簙了不少,但依旧是毋庸置疑的。

Chance the Rapper wins a Grammy and is recast in a Jordan-esque pose, hugging (at his request) the award as MJ once hugged his first championship trophy.

Chance the Rapper赢得了格莱美,并摆出了一个像是乔丹一样的手势,紧紧的抱着这座奖盃,就像是MJ紧紧拥抱着他的第一座总冠军奖盃一般。

A brief, curiously constructed rallying cry—”The ceiling is the roof!”—instantly becomes another meme. Jordan speaks, the world reacts.

并叫出了一句当时看上去有些离奇的口号,「屋顶就是上限!」瞬间就成为了另一段美好的回忆。乔丹说了出来,整个世界予以回应。

伟大的篮球之魂:为什幺不会再有下一个乔丹了?

Occasionally, MJ will descend from the owner’s suite in Charlotte and take a seat courtside—the ghost manifesting itself for all to see.

时不时的,MJ会从他的老闆套间中出来,坐在黄蜂队的场边,篮球之灵的本尊出现在世人的眼前。

As for the next MJ, that search has all but ceased, even if the irresistible comparisons endure. A week ago, it was no less an authority than the man on the NBA logo himself, Jerry West, calling Westbrook “a reincarnation” of Jordan.

至于下一个MJ?虽然这样的比较依然不可避免的存在着,但新的搜索已然停止了。一週之前,NBA的权威人士,logo先生,Jerry West说,Westbrook是乔丹的化身。

He is a reference point in every championship run and every barstool debate, still the impossible ideal. No one became the next Michael Jordan, because nobody could, and maybe no one ever needed to.

在每一次的总冠军角逐中以及酒吧里关于篮球的争论话题里,他都是标竿式的存在,仍然是无法比拟的完美存在。但是没人会成为下一个Michael Jordan,因为没人可以,也没人再需要成为他了。

“I never thought there was one anyway,” says Steve Kerr, Jordan’s former teammate and Curry’s coach. “That’s what made him MJ. He was unique.”

「我从来没有想过会有人成为下一个乔丹,」Steve Kerr,作为乔丹的前队友和Curry的教练,他说,「这也是MJ之所以是MJ的原因,他是独一无二的。」

Yet even the most enduring symbol of Jordan’s greatness—the one that cast an actual shadow—is out of sight these days. The Bulls recently moved their Michael Jordan statue, known as “The Spirit,” from its perch outside the United Center, where it had stood for nearly 23 years, to an indoor atrium.

乔丹的伟大依旧是篮球世界里最不朽的符号,这也为后人蒙上了一层无法抹去的阴影,近年来已经逐渐淡出了人们的视线。伫立在联合中心球馆外长达23年的乔丹塑像也被视为这支球队的灵魂所在。最近公牛队将它移到了球馆的室内中庭。

Like any wizened elder, the statue needed protection from the elements. To view it now, you have to seek it out.

就像是所有的衰老的人一样,这尊塑像也需要最基础的守护。为了想要一睹它的风采,你不得不再把他找出来。

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