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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Hey, Miley, respect No. 23

By Sarah Spain
espnW

Miley Cyrus
Michael Jordan made the tongue-out thing cool. Miley Cyrus? Not so much.

It's been over a month since Miley Cyrus famously defiled a foam finger while wearing a two-piece made of scrap materials from the Band-Aid factory. Her risqué MTV performance sparked the ire of moms everywhere and inspired countless open letters asking that she tone down the twerking and "think of the kids."

But Miley's gotta be Miley, so instead of backing down, she doubled down. Just a day after the VMAs she posted a racy Instagram photo, ticking off a whole new demographic -- sports fans.

The pic, which shows Cyrus squatting (perhaps mid-twerk?) in a "bikini" made from a red Michael Jordan Bulls jersey, had basketball purists crying foul. And rightly so.

Cutting up a Jordan jersey is sports sacrilege. It's like putting Muggsy Bogues above Magic Johnson on your list of best point guards ever because Muggsy was "cuter." I'm all about personal style and "looking fly," but respect for a legend trumps a bare midriff and exposed upper thigh.

Miley Cyrus
Cutting up a Michael Jordan uniform for any reason is true sacrilege.

The worst part is the Bulls jersey-kini wasn't for a one-and-done Instagram photo op. Cyrus wears it, and other Jordan-inspired atrocities, in her newly released music video "23."

The 20-year-old singer, whose interests include Auto-Tune, side boob and letting people know she's not a kid anymore, teamed up with Mike WiLL Made It, Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa for the new song, an ode to MJ and his shoes.

In the video, Cyrus showcases all her talents: sticking out her tongue while winking, smoking cigarettes, bending over, swearing, gyrating on a window ledge, giving "bedroom eyes" and straddling stuff.

"I'm in the club high off purp with some shades on," she sings. "Tatted up, miniskirt with my J's on."

She might have her "J's" on in the club, but for much of the video she's rocking stilettos instead. In addition to the bikini seen in the Instagram photo, Cyrus also wears a Jordan jersey dress. And this ain't your mama's jersey dress (even if your mama is Mariah Carey circa the 2003 NBA All-Star Game).

The creation features a black Jordan jersey "top" connected to a white Jordan jersey "skirt" by way of a plastic ring at her waist. (If you're making this look at home, a napkin holder or shower curtain ring should work. Also: Don't make this look at home.) The dress would best be described as "Pretty Woman couture" (the part in "Pretty Woman" where Julia Roberts actually looks like a prostitute, not the part where she wears that adorable brown-and-white polka-dot number to the polo match).

Here's where all the "Smilers" get mad at me for hatin' on their girl.

But here's the thing: I'm not mad at Miley for flaunting her burgeoning sexuality or wanting to be seen as edgy instead of innocent. She's in a phase, working through some stuff and trying to find herself. And that's cool. I just want her to leave the greatest athlete of all time out of it.

Because let's be honest, you're not honoring His Airness by repurposing his jersey as a bra-and-panties set and gyrating in a high school bathroom. Next time just throw on a (normal, uncut) jersey and some short-shorts and call it a day.

And while I've got you listening, Miley: Jordan made the tongue-out thing look cool; you look like there's a glob of nacho cheese on the side of your mouth that you can't quite reach. That's enough of that.