Listen up. There’s a new sheriff in town. As you folks can tell from the unusually handsome photo above, I, Michael Jordan, have taken over Mitch Albom’s column.

Lemme kiss myself.

Mmmmwah!

Yep. I own this column. Actually, I won it. He had a flush, I had a full house, it was . . .

Well, it’s a long story.

Anyhow, I own it. And I’m gonna use it. As you no doubt have heard, I am no longer talking to the media. Gave it up for Lent.

HA! Lent! That’s a joke!

Lemme kiss myself.

Mmmmwah!

But that didn’t stop the media from talking about me. So I’m using this column to clear the air. Speak my mind. And after that, I’m never speaking again. I’m becoming a Monk. Yeah. Monkel Jordan.

So listen carefully. Here’s what I have to say about all this recent criticism:

1. If I go to church on Sunday, then cabaret all day Monday, ain’t nobody’s business if I do.

2. John Starks couldn’t guard my sister.

3. I’m not like the other guys.

Let’s start with the last one. It’s true. I’m not like the others. People say, “Michael, how can you jump so high?” “How can you fly so far?” “How come your tongue hangs out like a golden retriever?”

The answer is: a secret. My deep, dark secret. I haven’t told anyone. But I’m going to tell you now. Free of charge.

Because I’m that kind of guy.

Lemme kiss myself — one more time.

Mmmmwah! Powers beyond mortal men

OK. The truth about me, Michael Jordan, is this: I’m not from this planet. I come from a galaxy far, far away. A few days after I was born, my father, Jord-El, wrapped me in a blanket and put me in a space capsule. I was launched toward Earth as my planet exploded. I never got to say good-bye to my parents, or even give them an autographed picture.

I landed in a cornfield in North Carolina, where Ma and Pa Jordan found me, held me in their arms and said, “Hey, maybe we can sell him.”

I get my business sense from them.

Pretty soon, I was lifting cars and burning barns with my X-ray vision. To keep me out of trouble, Pa gave me a basketball. I melted it.

“No, shoot it, Mikey,” he said.

I was two feet tall. I jumped. I dunked. Broke the rim. The backboard. Then

I melted Pa’s shoes.

Ma locked me in a closet for six years.

When I came out, I was fully grown. I flew to the frozen Arctic, where my father, Jord-El, appeared in a vision. He said, “Son, you are destine for greatness on this planet. But these are simple people. Always remember one thing: Never pay an agent more than four percent.”

“Yes, father,” I said.

I returned home, and a college recruiter saw me play. He said, “Hey, baldy, you’re good.”

So I melted him.

I’ve been a star ever since. Basketball lets me fly and use my X-ray vision to see through defenders.

Charles Barkley wears flowered underwear.

Wanna bet me?

As a super being, I don’t need to sleep. I don’t need to eat. I definitely don’t need to drink Gatorade. The truth is, I can’t stand Gatorade. It tastes like swill! There. I said it.

And another thing: I’m tired of wearing Nikes. Sneakers to breakfast. Sneakers to dinner. Just once, I’d like to wear a pair of sandals. But NOOOOOOOO!

Hey. It’s not the shoes, folks. It’s the solar system! You wanna “Be Like Mike”? Not unless you have a SPACESHIP in your BACKYARD! I’m unique, OK? Brother from ANOTHER PLANET?

Ooohh . . . I love it when I get angry.

Lemme kiss myself.

Mmmmwah!

So. About this gambling thing . . . Kiss and tell

What’s the big deal? I was out until 11. Or maybe 12. Or maybe 2 a.m. Big whoop. I told you, I don’t need sleep. I could have flown to Mars. Instead, I stay here, pumping money into the local economy.

And what happens? I get killed in the press. They say I’m a bad role model. I had 36 points that night! Why don’t you pick on Cartwright? The way he’s playing, we should send him to Vegas for a month.

And about this John Starks guy? Gimme a break. On my planet, we melt guys like him for breakfast. Did you see me Monday? I had 54 points. I could have had 100. And I might do that tonight in Game 5. We’re gonna win. We’re gonna three-peat.

And then, I’m outta here. I’ve had it with this stardom thing. I’m flying north, to my Fortress of Solitude, with another MJ who came to Earth by capsule: Michael Jackson.

You didn’t think he was human, did you?

Anyhow, there you have it. Your little world can’t hold me anymore. I’m gonna kiss myself good-bye. And all you New York reporters can join me. Right here. On my rear end. Same as the guys at Nike do.

Mmmmwah!

By the way, the fellow who normally writes this column will return, sooner or later.

As soon as they find a fire extinguisher.

Mitch Albom, who was not actually melted, will be on leave from the Free Press to finish his new book, “Fab Five,” about Michigan’s basketball team. His column will resume in August.

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