Tuesday, July 19, 2011

paradigms of greatness 2

Now it's Michael Jordan's turn. By most accounts Jordan is a dick. He's also a psychopath and a bully. Apparently these traits can get you somewhere in life. I think my favourite Jordan anecdote is when he punched the smallest skinniest white Dude on his team in the face (Steve Kerr, who was a one trick pony in the NBA and thus only receives a parenthetical mention), over some trivial disagreement at practice.

Jordan loved to win but even more he hated to lose. If you beat him at cards or virtually anything, you could guarantee you weren't going home until you had a rematch and he won. His accomplishments have become legend. Do you remember the time he beat an entire NBA all-star team for the 'ship while in a full body cast? That's how ludicrous the stories about Mike's exploits have become. He made Nike (or was it the other way around), arguably became the world's first truly transcendent global sports icon and left a litany of top talent championshipless in his wake (Poor Stockton, Malone, Reggie, Ewing, and Chuck, just to name a few. If they'd played in any other era they'd all have had at least one title each). What he possessed was a singular focus, an unrelenting drive, something sports writers like to call the killer instinct. And let's not forget ridiculous athleticism/talent. Talent can only take you so far though. There have been several unfairly talented NBA players, but there's only one Jordan. Mike summarized himself best when he said "Desire makes the difference."

So, which approach is optimal? The level-headed gentlemanly way of Coach Wooden or the tenacity and overbearing approach of Jordan (I haven't exactly been objective in my review of their styles, but I think in many ways I'm more like Jordan than Coach Wooden. Except that I'm white, poor and never have set foot on an NBA court. We're both bald though. Yeah!)? One seemingly did not concern himself with winning, while the other obsessed over it and any slight fired in his general direction. Yet both were successful. Hmmm, so which way is it gonna be?

No comments: