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Why you have to make allowances for greatness

Thanks to Netflix’s hit series The Last Dance, sports lovers around the world will never be short of conversation when they congregate together over a few beers or for the big game. What made Michael Jordan tick will be at the forefront of conversation as people from every walk of life share their interpretation of the goings-on of the ten-part documentary. 

Jordan, arguably the greatest athlete of all time, was stripped bare in this sure to be award-winning series. The 57-year-old’s character was completely exposed as the cameras documented every rise and fall over the course of his life and sporting career. By the time the curtain came down on the series, you weren’t sure what to think about Jordan apart from the obvious; that he was the greatest of all time.

Winning Mentality

But viewers would have been left in two minds as to his character. The general feeling is that Michael wasn’t the most liked player or even teammate given how much he pushed the others around him. There’s demanding that your teammate picks up his game, and then there’s Michael Jordan insisting that what you’re producing isn’t anywhere near good enough. So often, Jordan’s delivery came across as harsh and merciless, those are two traits that don’t necessarily endear you to the wider public. 

However, in Jordan’s case, there seems to be a greater understanding of his uncompromising attitude. Maybe that because he was able to achieve what he did, after all, the sporting world witnessed a man that was able to produce time and time again on the biggest stage. Naturally, you’re going to earn everyone’s respect with most personality flaws overlooked bearing in mind that most people understand that he was driven to be the very best. You could even say that those unlikeable traits come with the territory of being in the rarefied atmosphere of global stardom.

Similar Sports Stars

Jordan is not alone though and there are other examples of that throughout the world of sports. For starters, it would come as a surprise if anyone ever described Cristiano Ronaldo as a charitable happy-go-lucky guy. On the contrary, the Portuguese player doesn’t give an inch and also takes losing as a personal attack on his character. 

But there are also similar athletes closer to home who certainly share identical traits to Jordan; namely a certain quarterback from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, Tom Brady and Michael Jordan’s departures from the Chicago Bulls and the New England Patriots respectively, have been likened by the director of The Last Dance. Now, Brady is a modern-day example of what Jordan is like in terms of his drive to win. At 42-years-old, Brady is the oldest active NFL player and seems as determined as ever. 

That competitive spirit just never goes away and seeing that WSN (World Sports Network) has Brady as one of the favorites to be the 2020 NFL MVP, you can be sure he will be as relentless in his pursuit of glory this season. That’s the difference between the greatest and everyone else, despite all the wealth and accolades they have accumulated, these once in a lifetime players refuse to let others dominate them over the course of their careers. They simply have to be the best. 

Often, that type of mentality can bring out the worst in people and we see it with Jordan, Ronaldo, and even Brady at times. It borders on bullying and can be uncomfortable to watch but then again if you’re a teammate of a great, you are likely to finish your career with a cabinet full of trophies. 

There’s a price to pay for making allowances for the greatest any sport has seen but for the fans, franchise, coaches, and teammates, it is certainly always worth it.

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