The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — the smash-hit viral video campaign aimed at raising awareness of and money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease — has captivated an awful lot of people over the course of the past couple of weeks, and the NBA world has been no exception. A slew of hoops-related luminaries, from Team USA through LeBron James and Commissioner Adam Silver and beyond, and now, it has reached the rarefied air of Air Jordan himself: Michael Jordan.
After being nominated by soccer legend David Beckham, and Jordan Brand athletes Ray Allen and Derek Jeter, the Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets owner faced the music in a video released Wednesday:
We loved you for your vertical leap when you played, M.J., but would it have killed you to go horizontal for the video? C'mon, man.
Jordan aimed pretty high with his challenges, calling out his former head coach and current New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, as well as his teammates from "The Dream Team," the U.S. men's national Olympic basketball team that changed the face of international hoops by dominating at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Among Dream Teamers, only Jordan, Larry Bird and Chris Mullin have already completed the challenge as of press time. (Press time! In a story like this!) I'm sure the Turner Sports crew will come up with something wonderful for Charles Barkley's pay-up, and I can only hope that John Stockton and Karl Malone are able to link up on an appropriately pick-and-roll-themed ice bath. However the other members' entries play out, two things seem certain — first, that every other Dream Teamer will mercilessly tease Christian Laettner's submission, and second, that Jordan will hold Patrick Ewing's job as the Hornets' associate head coach in the balance if he even thinks about declining. Then again, few folks have ever needed an ice-down as much as Patrick, so maybe he'll welcome it.
The campaign has been a monstrous success, with the ALS Association reporting Sunday that there have been "about 260,000 new donors" responsible for "$13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year, according to the New York Times. After a few more big days, including the single most successful day in its 30-year history, the organization tweeted Wednesday that it received a whopping $31.5 million between July 29 and Aug. 20. Pretty sensational news for those who struggle with or have been affected by this terrible disease. (If you'd like to donate to the ALS Association, you can do so here.)
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