During his Chicago concert Wednesday, Kanye West paid tribute to the city’s basketball hero, Michael Jordan, with a special song. As captured in fan-shot video, West sang against some sparse piano, “We should have never, ever let Michael Jordan play for the Wizards . . . how could that happen?” over and over again. Jordan played for the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003; West did not address Jordan’s one-year stint playing baseball in the Chicago White Sox system in the mid-Nineties.
The audience cheered along as West roasted the Brooklyn-born ballplayer, citing the six championships the Chicago Bulls won when Jordan played for them in two stints between 1991 and 1998 – “the best years of our life.” He sang about how he wanted to be “just like Michael” and quoted R. Kelly’s 1996 single “I Believe I Can Fly,” which was on the six-times-platinum soundtrack to the Michael Jordan-Looney Tunes movie Space Jam. He complained about how the owners of a ball club that has a statue of him “in the front of the motherfucking building” wouldn’t let him own a stake in the team, calling Jordan “a player that’s done more for the league than the league could have done for him,” before repeating, “We should’ve never ever let MJ play for the Wizards.” Calling Jordan one of the “most important people in our civilization,” West stretches the rant out to four minutes.
Jordan became a part-owner of the Washington Wizards in 2000, according to Yahoo! Sports. He later became a part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006. That site argues that Jordan didn’t have enough money to purchase ownership in the Bulls in 1999.
In other West-Jordan news, the rapper recently severed his ties with Nike, the company that makes Air Jordan shoes. In a recent interview with Sway, West said, “By the way, the Jordans are only popular at this point because of two people: me and [West’s co-manager] Don C.” Earlier this month, Drake was confirmed as the new spokesman for Michael Jordan’s Nike brand.