Basketball Legends Revealed #7

This is the seventh in a series of examinations of basketball-related legends and whether they are true or false.

Let’s begin!

BASKETBALL LEGEND: Michael Jordan bought a fancy team bus for his minor league baseball team to ride around in.

STATUS: False Enough for a False

The sports world was shaked to its very foundation when Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player in the NBA, retired in 1993 to pursue a career a professional baseball player.

He signed with the Chicago White Sox and was assigned to their minor league affiliate, the Birmingham Barons.

While with the Barons, the Barons received a brand new, top of the line team bus, dubbed the Jordan Cruiser.

As the story was reported pretty much everywhere, Jordan purchased the bus (which ran about $300,000) so that he and his teammates could travel in style and comfort.

That’s not entirely true, and it’s “not entirely true” enough that I’m calling it “false.”

You see, Jordan never actually purchased the bus. He did not own the bus – the bus company, Thrasher Brothers Trailways, did (they sold the bus, complete with Jordan’s signature on the bus, in 2005 for a goodly amount of money).

He also did not give any money to purchase the bus.

HOWEVER, he did agree to allow his likeness be used for advertising by the bus manufacturer in exchange for the bus for the team’s use (I don’t know if they literally GAVE the bus or if his likeness was enough for a massive discount).

So yeah, Jordan’s fame certainly help land the Barons in a fancy bus, but not the way that the story was reported at the time (and is still reported today) that Jordan just went out and bought a bus for the team.

BASKETBALL LEGEND: A convicted man asked for his sentence to be INCREASED to honor his favorite basketball player.

STATUS: True

Eric James Torpy was in a bind in October of 2005.

The Oklahoma City man was charged with shooting with intent to rob and kill.

His defense attorney and the prosecutors worked out a plea agreemeent for Torpy – he would plead guilty and serve 30 years for the charge.

Torpy, though, had a different idea in mind.

Going under the notion that 33 years was not much different than 30 years (I don’t know if I should even say “going under the notion,” as it makes it sound like he was using logic), Torpy petitioned the court to EXTEND the agreed upon sentence from 30 years to 33 years.

Why?

Why to honor his favorite basketball player, Larry Bird, #33, of course!

I sure hope for EVERYone’s sake that this is the oddest tribute that Larry Bird has ever received.

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

Leave a Reply