DETROIT — Most people go into the Hall of Fame first.
Then they get the statue.
Not Michael Jordan.
Even as he stood in the ballroom of a downtown Detroit hotel Monday for the announcement of his election to the Hall class of 2009, the same snowstorm that swirled outside blanketed a statue erected almost 15 years ago in front of the United Center in Chicago — The House That Jordan Built — a few hundred miles to the south.
The figure cast in bronze atop a granite base soars toward the sky, a basketball at the end of its outstretched arm. The pose captures almost perfectly the illusion of Jordan: that he could fly. But down near the bottom, where the statue is affixed to the earth, is an inscription that represents the reality: “The best there ever was. The best there ever will be.”