People can't decide if this Michael Jordan clip is inspiring or a form of bullying

Greg Evans
Friday 15 May 2020 09:00
sport

The Netflix and ESPN documentary series, The Last Dance has given viewers a unique look into the world of Michael Jordan and how he and the Chicago Bulls arguably dominated the entire sports world in the 1990s.

Jordan's status as possibly the greatest basketball player of all-time would not be disputed by many but the success that an athlete in a team sport must require of his teammates is often more demanding than it would be for say a long-distance runner or boxer.

At the end of episode seven, the show delves into whether Jordan, despite his global appeal and success was a nice guy due to the criticism and expectations that he would enforce upon others.

Jordan's former Bulls teammate BJ Armstrong admitted that Jordan couldn't have been a 'nice guy' because his level of performance made him 'difficult.'

The interviewer then asks Jordan:

Through the years do you that intensity has come at the expense of being perceived as a nice guy?

What follows is just over two minutes of Jordan passionately explaining his position and what he deemed to be appropriate leadership and what a team must do to keep winning.

This is what he said:

Winning has a price and leadership has a price. I tried to pull people along when they didn't want to be pulled.

I challenged people when they didn't want to be challenged and I did that because all the teammates that came after me didn't endure all the things that I endured. 

Once you join the team you live a certain standard that I play the game and I wasn't going to take anything less. 

Now if that means I had to go in there and get in your ass a little bit then I did that. 

You ask all my teammates, the one thing about Michael Jordan was that he never asked me to do something that he didn't do. 

When people see this they might say 'well, he wasn't really a nice guy, he may have been a tyrant.'

No, that's you because you never won anything. I wanted to win but I wanted them to win too. 

I don't have to do this and I'm only doing it because it is who I am. That's how I played the game. That was my mentality. 

If you don't want to play that way, don't play that way.

The explanation has since been shared on Twitter and has already received more than 5 million views with the overwhelming opinion being that it is inspirational.

However, others have interpreted it differently and asked whether this type of mentality and approach to others would be accepted in 2020, with some also comparing the approach that other sports stars had adopted.

Even ex-footballer Gary Lineker, who was praising the clip picked up that Jordan may have been insinuating that his teammates were inferior to him.

There have been many comparisons made between Jordan and former Manchester United and Ireland footballer, Roy Keane who was notoriously outspoken and critical of his teammates.

There is no doubting Michael Jordan's achievements, his records and championships speak for themselves but his complicated legacy remains as fascinating as ever.

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