Happy 50th Michael

This past Sunday, Michael Jordan turned 50.  He is an incomparable individual that transcends sports by way of his talent, achievements and most of all his character.  As unarguably arguably the greatest basketball player to ever grace the hardwood, there must be something elevating him to such a high level that, in all honesty, will probably never be replicated.

We all know about his talents and skills, but many athletes have come and gone with incredible talent.  We know there are players more physically talented than him (i.e., Lebron) and there are also players with more championships than him (i.e., Bill Russell).  So what is it about Michael that made him so great?  Initially, nobody can deny his determination and dedication to succeed.  Anyone familiar with his legacy knows about his fierce competitive nature that drove him to be so successful.  Only a few individuals actually put forth such an abundance of effort on a consistent basis while remaining dedicated to their goals.  If any of us, myself included, had even a tenth the dedication, effort and determination to reach our goals as he did, our lives would be incredibly more successful.

But there was a slightly lessor known trait he possessed…something you do not come across on a daily basis.  His cockiness.  And this was not your run of the mill arrogant bastard.  He was at astronomical levels.  He believed that he was the best and made no attempts to hide it.  What do I mean?  Well I put together a few anecdotes that demonstrate Michael’s unapologetic and downright cutthroat approach he implemented time and again:

The Shot

Everyone knows about the 1989 game-winning shot over Craig Ehlo to defeat the Cavs in the playoffs.  But not everyone knows how cocky Michael was only a few years into his career.  Here’s an interesting quote from a Chicago Tribune writer that covered the Bulls:

Although it’s difficult to believe now, the Bulls still weren’t a major story in Chicago because few considered them championship contenders. So there was limited media traveling. The only regulars were myself, Lacy Banks from the Sun-Times and Kent McDill from the Daily Herald. We’d all picked against the Bulls before the series, Lacy in three and Kent in four. I thought Jordan could win two games, but not three. So I had Cavs in five. The game was about to start and Jordan was pacing in front of the Bulls bench and scorer’s table, where we were sitting. Jordan’s mood was buoyant, as if he knew. So he stops and first points to Lacy and says, “We took care of you,” meaning Lacy’s prediction. Then he moves over to Kent and points and says, “And we took care of you.” Then he stops in front of me and points and says with a seemingly knowing smile, “And today we take care of you.”

The Cigar and Ferrari

From Chris Webber, who was playing against Jordan in a playoff series:

I’ll never forget, Jordan was sitting on his Ferrari and Pippen was right there and they have a cigar lit. We get off the bus and we have to pass them with a lit cigar. You want to talk about posturing? Forget Phil Jackson. You got Michael Jordan there behind the scenes smoking a cigar before the game, letting us know that he’s the Red Auerbach before the game even started. It was almost like, ‘I lit the cigar. I’m celebrating already. This is just a formality, you guys getting on the court tonight.

Again, the sheer audacity of a man who believes so much in himself that he not only preemptively celebrates a victory, but makes damn sure his competitor knows it too.  That’s essentially like walking up to a girl, throwing her a towel and telling her it’s for cleaning up the sex fluids after you ravage her later tonight.

The Earring

Seems like just a pure mindfuck?

The day before game 4 of the Bulls Suns finals with the Bulls leading the series 2-1.  Michael and Charles Barkley went golfing.  They played 48 holes of golf.  And Michael bought Charles a $20,000 diamond earring.  Johnny asked MJ, “what did you do all that for?”  Michael responded, “he won’t get in my way the rest of the series, what’s $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we’re great friends.  I hate that fat f—.” Jordan dropped 55 in game 4 and Barkley never touched him once.

“Shoot It”

Pretty harsh.  But hey, if you want to shut him up then beat him:

Series was tied at 2 and Hornets had a chance to win game 5 in Chicago. On the biggest possession of the game, Mugsy had the ball with the Hornets down 1. Jordan backed off of him and told him: “shoot it you f—ing midget.” Mugsy shot it, didn’t come close. A year later Mugsy actually told Johnny Bach that he believes that single play ruined his career. His shot never recovered.

Like anyone else however, he’s had his share of failures.  He tried baseball to no avail.  He divorced his wife and lost $168 million in the process.  Stories of his gambling issues surface from time to time.  His hall of fame induction speech was just terrible.  But he commands a certain reverence and it is easy to see why.  It was his absurd level of self-confidence that created this charismatic persona, one that morphed him into immortality.  It oozed through our television sets and infected the general population, whether they were fans or casual observers, old or young, male or female.  My grandparents do not speak English, but they know Michael Jordan.  I had a strict TV cutoff time when I was a kid, but exceptions were made for Bulls’ games.

He made bold claims, would do outrageous things, only to back them up time and time again.  Run your mouth and fail to deliver — you’re just a pompous ass.  Run your mouth and not only deliver but destroy your competition in the process — you become an idol.

On a final, completely unrelated note, here’s his fiance.  No surprise that after going through that hellish divorce, Michael went for something younger, hotter and foreign…a Cuban born model.  To that I say Feliz Cumpleaños, Miguel.

Read More: Learn To Be An Alpha From Athletes

28 thoughts on “Happy 50th Michael”

  1. A lot of people fail to recognize the effect that marketing and advertising has on our beliefs of Michael Jordan being “The Greatest Ever.” I’m not here to debate whether he is or isn’t. I’m simply trying to make a point that he had a team of expert marketing and advertising executives selling his name and brand to the public. Certainly this is a generational thing, but, would Bill Russell enter into the conversation if he had “Team Nike” selling his brand? Quite possibly.

  2. Jordan is the greatest ever! I have to dispute the part where you said “He tried baseball to no avail.” Supposedly his work ethic actually had him excelling towards the end of his year in baseball, but due to the baseball lockout he decided to just go back to basketball.

  3. Simple, like Ali, MJ is loved around the world. Law Dogger went some ways to explaining why.

  4. Jordan said 5 is better than 1 about Kobe/LeBron. My dad texts me and say I guess 11 (Russell) is better than 6. Discussion over according to Mike.

  5. “He made bold claims, would do outrageous things, only to back them up time and time again. Run your mouth and fail to deliver — you’re just a pompous ass. Run your mouth and not only deliver but destroy your competition in the process — you become an idol”

  6. Oh, adoration of professional sports. How uncompromisingly manly. NOT. Jordan was more of a slave than anything else, sorry to say. This forum and the word King has become the greatest joke to me lately: one of materially obsessed men in gowns rising out of the agricultural age… Sitting on a couch. For obvious reasons this forum was dead in the water before it even started. I’m going to throw out a recommended reading: Rich Zubaty “What Men Know…”

    1. Admiring men who have accomplished great feats is not purely feminine. It takes great strength, confidence, and self-esteem for a Man to give praise to another Man for doing great things. Worshipping and giving credit where credit is due are two different concepts and are of two different mindsets. Finally, Men learn from other Men, so having this post and grasping the attitude of a successful alpha and role model is indeed fitting.

      1. Hell, Andrew Carnegie commissioned a book about successful men he admired. Also, Think And Grow Rich will blow your mind.

      2. Likewise, Joe Kennedy and Jack Kennedy commissioned a book (albeit with JFK’s name on it) about great statesmen they admired.
        Does that diminish Joe Kennedy’s backbreaking work building a business empire illicitly or Jack Kennedy’s alpha womanizing, bravado, and brinksmanship?
        Were they not “manly” enough for Teeroy because they idolized others — mere bureaucrats who had not farmed, manufactured, or invented?

    2. Michael Jordan gets admiration in the same way that Steve Jobs gets admiration. They are people who changed their fields forever. When we’re all dead and gone, people will still remember them and use them as examples of great men. They’re the Achilles and Hectors of the modern age.
      Idolising Kobe Bryant/Lebron James is normal sportsfan bs, but it’s simply impossible not to be intrigued by people who are in a league of their own. If you can’t find inspiration in MJ then I think the problem is really with you.

  7. Michael Jordan played Baseball to honor his Father and at the same time cope with the loss of his Father. Something his dad always wanted to see him do was play Baseball. It’s through actions that men deal with emotional loss not just sitting around and moping.

  8. For the record I’m not saying Michael was a men among men, in the purest sense. That’s mass media talking, something that has never held nor supported your greatest potential. Ever…
    You guys can put little letters in front of your names but absolute knowledge trumps psychobabble any day. Think and Grow Rich was the first book I read that fostered an awakening, now 8 years ago and during my teenage years. Good luck on the journey of self discovery.

  9. Wow. I always saw MJ as one of the good guys of the NBA. I had no idea he was such an asshole alpha.

  10. One of the greatest winners on the basketball court ever, and one of the greatest losers in the divorce court. According to the documentary “Broke” his divorce cost him 150 million.

  11. Jordan will go down as one of the greatest sportsman ever. But he was a huge fucking dickhead. One of the biggest dickheads ever. Luckily his talent and skill was so huge, people had to accept his temperament.
    There’s a game/life lesson in there somewhere.
    So long as you are the undisputed best at what you do, people will excuse just about any aspect of your personality or character. ultimately it has less meaning than people thought

  12. Michael Jordan’s intensity, the depth of his competitive drive, and plain mean-spiritedness towards other players is part of what made him and his era great.
    It’s been said time and again, but the modern NBA is far too collegial. Almost everyone in the league, with the exception of holdovers like Kobe, Paul Pierce, and K.G., acts like good friends with their rivals.

  13. Hell yes! Jordan is the best and he continues to inspire even though he is 50. In his interviews you can tell that he would rather play that retire.

  14. Great Writing. Could you write such post regarding Drake aka Drizzy. I saw the post about Modern hip-hop and agree with it. However, Drake seems to be an alpha and on the other hand sometimes he writes insecure beta type lines too. Sometimes he shits alpha logs and sometimes he is a wet pussy. It would be great if you can write a post about him as most of guys can relate to him and his music.

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