(Isaac Brekken / Getty Images) (Isaac Brekken / Getty Images)

Michael Jordan got married again this year, turned 50 (and has the Sports Illustrated covers to prove it) and now a watershed year has grown more significant.

Jordan and his wife, Yvette Prieto, are expecting twins — identical twin girls, according to TMZ and E online. (Alert the WNBA.) The twins will be the fourth and fifth children for Jordan, who has two sons and a daughter with his ex-wife, Juanita. The babies are part of what has been a 180 in his domestic life, as chronicled by ESPN’s Wright Thompson earlier this year.

Whatever changes he’s made are because of [Yvette], and she offers him the best hope to rediscover pieces of the boy who wrote those letters from college. Two Easters ago, Yvette went with him to North Carolina to visit family, which is spread around the state. She’d been bugging him about taking her to Wilmington, to show her where he grew up. Like most people, she sometimes struggled to imagine him before. She wanted to meet the Mike Jordan who needed his mom and dad to send stamps. This required about seven hours of driving, which he didn’t want to do. Finally, he gave in. “It’s amazing what women can talk you into doing,” he says. “Make you change. Ten years ago, we’d have been arguing all [expletive] day. I would’ve won. This time, this stage where I am, you win. That’s progress.”

Tonight, the guys are ordering Ruth’s Chris to go, and Yvette and [her friend] Laura are making salads. Friends gather around the kitchen island, and the place is filled with laughter. They’re washing lettuce. It’s easy and loose. Jordan is killing [Quinn] Buckner about drinking all his wine, everyone erupting at the volleyed barbs, and later, when [Jordan’s friend] George [Koehler] hands Quinn an expensive bottle of Merlot with a bendy straw in it, Yvette falls into hysterics. It was a joint George-Yvette operation, from the sound of her giddy cackling.

She pushes Jordan, making him try new things. The home in Florida is almost finished, and it will be theirs together. In conversation among his staff, the golf club estate has been called a “retirement home,” and Jordan’s friends like to imagine him in the huge outdoor living area, lounging on a big couch, relaxing. Their wish for him is peace.

The only real downside this year is the hit he’ll take on his Chicago-area mansion, which failed to sell earlier this week at auction. Even his sneakers are ridiculously popular. Shoppers rushed a Champs Sports store in Columbus, Ohio, last week in a crush to obtain vouchers for the Air Jordan 12 Taxi and the shoes from his legendary “flu game” fetched over $100,000 for the guy he gave them to years ago.

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