Michael Jordan - the Champion
Most experts and non-experts in the basketball world crown Michael Jeffrey Jordan as the best basketball player who ever lived. Having won 6 championships (three-peating twice) no one can argue that Michael was a true champion. In addition to his dominance in team play, Michael's individual accolades and records rival any player in history. As a 14 time all star, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist, 6-time Finals MVP, 5-time League MVP and 10-time scoring champion, Michael Jordan's name is firmly etched in the record books for all time.
Michael Jordan - the Brand
For all that Michael Jordan has achieved on the court, it is probably the brand that Michael has become that has secured his financial fortune. With a big assist from Nike, the Michael Jordan brand has become the most popular brand of all time for any athlete.
There was a time when almost every young man in America wanted to "be like Mike" and that meant dressing like Mike (who started the baggy NBA shorts?), walking like Jordan, playing like Mike and of course wearing his shoes. Almost 25 years later the Air Jordan brand by Nike remains as one of the most popular shoes on the market today. In addition, Jordan still makes millions doing commercials for Hanes and Gatorade just to name a few.
Michael Jordan - the Risk Taker
Of course Jordan is admired for his basketball heroics and rightfully so, but for me it is his willingness to take risks that makes him one of the most inspirational people in the world. At the absolute peak of his career Michael walked away from the game of basketballl to pursue the dream of playing baseball. Never in history has an athlete left so much behind to work himself up from the absolute bottom in another sport. Ironically, it is his willingness to attempt baseball thatt made Michael such a great basketball player; he had no fear of the unknown and an unwavering confidence in his own ability.
Today Michael has jumped into another risk-filled arena as team owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Once again Michael Jordan has to start from the bottom and compete with veteran owners to make his team a champion. With his work ethic and determination, can there be any doubt that one day Michael will hold another NBA championship trophy as an owner?
Michael Jordan was not always great. Definitely no "sure thing" Micheal Jordan didn't even make his high school varsity team until he was a junior. He worked damn hard just like the rest of us, giving others inspiration that they too can "make the team".
Michael Jordan was the best player but he also worked the hardest. Of course Michael Jordan was blessed with amazing physical gifts, but it was his hard work and practice habits that honed his skills. He spent hours working in the gym far from the lights and the crowds. He constantly challenged hiself and his teammates to play harder and play better - the mark of a true champion.
Michael was fiercely competitive and refused to lose - at anything. Basketball, golf, cards, baseball, or a foot race - Michael Jordan will compete to the end. One of the main assets that MJ had on the court was that he absolutely refused to lose and would challenge himself and his competitors on every play, in every quarter of every game.
Michael was always humble off the court. Michael always has had respect for the game and the people who play it. He competed fiercely on the court but didn't run people down off the court. Many athletes of today could learn from Michael Jordan's example.
"If you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength" - Michael Jordan
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