On behalf of America, I want to personally thank The Last Dance for airing during the quarantine. Seriously, The Last Dance has been a small beacon of hope these past few weeks. Michael Jordan went six for six in the NBA and now he’s one for one in airing great documentaries during global pandemics. Take THAT, LeBron!
Note: I like and appreciate LeBron James. I can’t wait to watch your documentary in 20 years.
Tonight marks the final two episodes of The Last Dance. However, no matter what airs tonight, my biggest takeaway from The Last Dance happened last week. The clip I’m referencing focuses on MJ and the perception that he’s not a nice guy. These two minutes gave us insight into one of the greatest winners of all time.
“Winning has a price, leadership has a price.”
Was an MJ an asshole? I think it’s safe to say that at times, Michael Jordan was an asshole. MJ punched Steve Kerr in the face, insulted Scott Burrell 24/7, ran teammates out of town, and pushed guys farther than anyone had ever pushed them in their lives. There are different types of leaders. Some leaders get in your face while other leaders tend to back off. There’s no right answer to this question. The only way to measure the greatness of a leader, in this case, is through success. Did Michael’s methods lead to victories?
The answer is a resounding yes. If Jordan didn’t win six championships and six finals’ MVPs, then we’d look at his leadership methods a lot differently. Frankly, there would be no documentary about him either if he wasn’t one of the greatest basketball players of all time. I can’t shake this quote. “The one thing about Michael Jordan was he never asked me to do something that he didn’t fucking do.” It’s not like MJ was barking out orders and sitting comfortably on the sidelines. If you took 100 shots at practice, MJ was going to take 200 shots. If you’re lifting weights for one hour, MJ would do it for three hours. He talked the talk and walked the walk. Jordan was no hypocrite.
It’s difficult for me to comment on Jordan’s impact in the 1990s because I was 6 years old when he won his sixth championship. Through no fault of my own, I’ll never fully appreciate his greatness, both on the court and off because I couldn’t witness it firsthand. However, one thing I can value is his drive to greatness. Watching Jordan discuss the price of winning and leadership makes me want to run through a wall for him. I’ve been waiting for the moment where I won’t like Michael Jordan, and yet, after every episode, I find myself liking him more and more.
MJ may not have been perceived as a nice guy, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. The results speak for themselves.