By Nick Sidotti Wagner ’17
Michael Jordan, who was originally cut from his high school basketball team, who then proved all of his doubters wrong when he went on to get a full scholarship to North Carolina University where right off the bat he was the star player. After three strong years, he began his quest to living the American dream. Due to his assassin mentality to win, leadership, along with his dedication and passion towards basketball, he is known to be the greatest player to ever touch a basketball.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
1. Becoming the GREATEST basketball player ever/ HOF Member
Michael Jordan was known as a basketball prodigy since he was young. He was a sure leader, who was confident and had a powerful will to win and be successful. He was the always the best at everything he did. He could score at anytime he wanted, he could play defense against the opposing teams best player, he had great court vision andwould make the right pass, he could rebound considering he had a 50″ vertical, and most important he knew how to finish a game and never froze up. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame into 2009. Here you can view his speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLzBMGXfK4c
2. Winning 6 NBA Championships
Under Michael Jordan’s belt, he has 6 NBA Championships where during the season his team won, he averaged at least 30 points. Players now a days don’t even average 30 points which puts him above the rest. He has two 3-Peats which is very hard to accomplish. A 3-peat is winning 3 championships in a row. The only reason he has two is because he took a season off to play in the MLB. He had a 3-peat right before he left and than right when he came back. He could of continued to play basketball but he basically “gave up” winning because he got tired of it. Many people question this from a leadership standpoint, where they say what kind of leader doesn’t like to win and be very successful.
3. Having the Most Popular Shoe Line Ever
When Michael Jordan came into the league, he already had his own shoe line. His shoes are now mainly worn casually due to the popularity and style of them, but can still be worn for basketball as well. He wore a different number shoe each season he was in the NBA. He started off with 1 and ended with 18. Today the shoe line has gone up to 28 different types of shoes. When it comes to selling his shoes though, they are a little overpriced. He is more worried about making a profit, opposed to selling them at a reasonable so everyone can afford them. This says a lot about his personality. He’s more worried about himself and his commission, then making everyone else happy.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Michael Jordan wasn’t competitive. He was one of the most successful athletes to ever play sports. His will to win was one of a kind. He would do anything he possibly could in order to win. If he had to score 50 points then he would. Nothing would stop him. When it came to the NBA Finals, he never lost. He was 6-0 in every series he competed in. He always wanted to be the best and would do anything to keep that title. He had an attitude towards the game that you had to be born with. Leaders need to be competitive because if they aren’t, then they are okay with failing. Leaders who are competitive love to outdo their opponent to be successful, and will do anything to do it.
Anyone would agree that hardwork is one of the key essential factors in being a good leader. If your work ethic is poor, you aren’t going to get much done. Michael Jordan came into the NBA mainly as someone who was good at finishing the rim. As his career advanced, he spent hours on in after practice in the gym perfecting his shooting to become one of the most deadliest shooters of all time. If you aren’t willing to push to become better at something, then you are going to stay average. This is what separate’s leaders from normal people. Leader’s are willing to go the extra mile to be the absolute best.
Michael Jordan has always been an inspirational leader in my eyes. Him being the best player to ever touch a basketball, says a lot in itself. It shows what kind of person he was and how good he became in order to receive that title. Even though I didn’t really get to watch him play because I was young, watching his highlights and seeing how much passion and love he had for the game of basketball made me look up to him. Seeing all the dedication and hard work he put in to be considered the greatest is truly amazing. They say his best quality was turning his weaknesses into strengths which is something I have learned to do.
It becomes relevant in history, when we speak about people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X, two of the greatest African American leaders of all time. They had a goal set in their mind, and they did everything possible they could in order to achieve it. That ties into MJ setting his goal to become the best player ever and eventually achieving it. Even though Martin Luther King may not have fully accomplished his goal, he did a great job of starting it off which eventually came to change around the country.
All 3 of these men, are some of the greatest African American leaders to ever live. They all possess leader qualities that allow them to be powerful objects. They all were passionate about what they were doing, and were going to do whatever it took in order for that goal to be achieved.
When looking at a person, no one is perfect, not even God. Although someone may appear to have nothing wrong with them, there is flaws in everyone. In Michael Jordan’s case, although he is the greatest basketball player of all time, there a few flaws that comes along with it.
One of his flaws was that he was a ball hog, he refused to give up the scoring crown when Phil Jackson asked him to, for the good of the team. Steve Kerr even remarked once that Jordan cared more about scoring titles than winning. What kind of leader is selfish? He wanted to be the reason why his team won. He said it himself “I like winning, but only when I was the reason that they won.”, and he abused Kerr and Pippen for this when they took game winning shots for Chicago. Jordan was one of the people who always wanted to be considered the best and would never give it up to anyone.
Another one his major flaws that is looked down upon is that he never spoke out on social issues. He was looked down upon when he wouldn’t support Harvey Gantt who was running for senator in 1990. After beingasked why he declined to give Gantt an endorsement, Jordan asserted ‘republicans buyshoes, too’. From this statement, it is apparent that Jordan did notwant to offend any possible buyer of his shoes and decrease the demand of his products, thus embodying capitalist ideals as mentioned earlier.
His last major flaw was that he abused his teammates, and teared apart various people that he was with during his years at the Chicago Bulls. He insulted and teared apart Luc Longley, and loved to bully him. Luc Longley even remarked that “Jordan relished in taking out you’re heart, and showing it to others.” He made Pippen work extra hard at practice, and he always went hard on Pippen, and made life unpleasant for him. He punched Steve Kerr when Michael got angry with Kerr. Although by this Jordan had good intentions by pushing his teammates to be the best they can be, there’s a certain point where you need to be more supporting instead of forcing someone to do something.
About the Author
A kid who was born into sports, and started playing at the age of 5. Always had heart and worked as hard as I could to be the best at what I did. As a result of this, I wound up with a football scholarship to play for a successful D1-AA college. Although I was faced with some controversy before I arrived, my dedication and love for the game didn’t stop me from playing. Inspired by Michael Jordan, and his superior leadership, he is one of the few people I look up to next to my Dad and Uncle. Just another kid, who is striving to reach his dream of being successful.
Michael Jordan. Hall of Fame Speech. 2009
Kwame JA Agyemang. Black male athlete activism and the link to Michael Jordan: A transformational leadership and social cognitive theory analysis. Texas: SAGE. 2009.
Phil Jackson. Michael and Me. NBA. 2001.
Kobe Byrant’s weaknesses vs Michael Jordan’s weaknesses. 2009.