Recently, I found time to sit through 10 hours of Netflix for the latest, highly acclaimed, Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance.
In case you don’t already know, Jordan is often regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. And also, despite his fame and fortune, he is quite a reserved individual, at least compared to today’s generation of superstar athletes.
So, here’s what I learned about Michael Jordan after watching The Last Dance.
What separates MJ with the rest of the pack is his killer instinct. He wants to play and win every game, at all costs. Simply to say, he showed up.
There was a period during the earlier part of his career when Jordan had a serious injury. Instead of resting and recuperating, he went out to secretly train. After that, he came back to play even though it may result in an aggravation of the injury, which could have ended his career.
The reason that Jordan was well-known for his clutch winners (winning shots), is because he took responsibility for them. Others may have feared repercussions of missing them but definitely not him.
Jordan is a leader.
This is evident from the high praises from his former Chicago Bulls teammates. He even earned respect from his greatest rivals.
And the best thing about Jordan’s leadership is that he always leads by example. He never expect others to do things he cannot accomplish himself.
“My rookie year we were playing the Chicago Bulls, and this is Michael Jordan’s third or fourth year in. And we were playing an exhibition game…most veterans do not like to play in exhibition games, they want to get to the real thing. I’m a wide-eyed, energetic rookie and…Michael’s going through the motions. And Chuck Person—who’s on my team—who is a trash-talker as well, is like, “Can you believe Michael Jordan, the guy everyone’s talking about, who’s supposed to be able to walk on water? You’re out here killing him, Reg! … You should be talking to him!” And I was like, “You know what, you’re right!” “Michael…who do you think you are? The great Michael Jordan? That’s right, there’s a new kid on town!” He kind of looks at me and starts shaking his head. So at half I have 10, and he has four points…end of the game, the second half, he ended up with 44 and I ended up with 12. So he outscored me 40-2. And as he’s walking off, he’s like, “Be sure, and be careful, you never talk to Black Jesus like that.” -Reggie Miller, Bleacher Report
Jordan is exemplifies toughness.
Unfortunately, after winning his third NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls, his father was killed. Jordan was devastated.
This, coupled with the constant attack by the media about his indulgence in gambling, affected him so badly that he decided to retire from basketball. At that time, it was obvious that he had no more drive left in him. He was tired.
Two years later, he unretired and returned to Chicago Bulls. He won 3 more NBA championships and the rest is history.
The Last Dance is truly a gift to all basketball fans and also to people who admire greatness.
“I didn’t think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us.. He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”Larry Bird