Michael Jordan Essay, Research Paper
Look at Michael Jordan and what do you see? The most amazing athlete of our day? The man who made himself and Chicago Bulls famous worldwide? The NBA basketball player who filled stadiums with tens of thousands and commanded the attention of tens of millions more on television? A media icon who s mere image with their products enriches the likes of Nike, Hanes and Mac Donalds.
Look again and you will see a boy in a mans body with bright eyes all dressed up in a suit and tie. This could be your boy ,or the boy that delivers your paper. Could he really be any kid in any neighborhood?
We know him as Air Jordan the man who flies above the basketball court and hangs suspended in time and space before slam-dunking the ball just as we ve run out of air and are forced to draw another breath. We shake our heads in amazement. He is so gifted. Surely it must be a rare talent, something genetic that appears like magic at birth. perhaps his life was preordained.
In fact, Michael Jordan was born of a near miscarriage to a working mother in Brooklyn. His nose bled from birth off and on until he was five. He nearly suffocated when he fell behind the bed as a baby. At age two he crawled through a wet backyard to join his father who was working on the family car. Fiddling with the plug of an extension cord, he was nearly electrocuted as the house current threw him three feet clear before his dad could get to him.
Michael Jordan was a kid with his father s smile and quick sense of humor and his mother s serious sense of business. He wasn t pushed or coddled in growing up. He wasn t showered with riches, but with richness of family life and values.The greatest lesson from his parents, according to Michael, was the ability to see people as they are,neither black nor white,but what they value and what makes them tick.
Decades later, Michael engaged this ability to see to the core of a person s commitment as he took on the challenge of driving his teammates to a level of performance that they might never have achieved on their own. In the book Blood on the Horns , sports writer Roland Lazenby describes the relentlessness with which Michael Jordan prodded and cajoled the other players in leading them to championship season after championship season.
Michael describes the game of basketball as mental. That seems at times incredulous to those of us watching the sculpted muscular frames of the world s top athletes as they hit and run and leap above the crowd. Yet everything Michael Jordan says , the way he carries himself and the way he steps up to turn losing situations into winning situations points clearly to some inner drive that wasn t put there by practicing free throws or lifting weights.
I saw this most in the summer of 1997. It was game five of the championship finals between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls. The pressure was on. The series was tied, the Bulls having lost two games in a row. It was time for Michael to save the day,but how could he? He was so sick all day, he couldn t get out of bed or keep anything down. Yet , even with his physical system out of kilter, he willed himself into the arena and by sheer determination scored 38 points to win the game and the series by the slightest margin.
It is amazing that even in the farthest region of the earth that all you have to say is his name and somebody will recognize who he is. Sure at first they will know he is a basketball player and famous figure, but will they know why he is so good at what he does or why he is such a big deal, probably not . They will surely know what products he endorses though.
I admire Jordan because he is certainly the best basketball player of all time . Here are some of his accomplishments ,he has been the Most valuable of the league four times and in the championships six times. He has always been an all star every year of his basketball career. He has also been a ten time all-defensive team player, and an all-star game most valuable player. Even with all these awards he still seems like somebody that you are able to approach and just say hi to.
I wonder if he had been given a less towering physique,perhaps all the willpower in the world would not have been enough to generate the game dominating performance he s shown in the NBA. Yet , in some activity somewhere, Michael Jordan would rule. He would have found an endeavor that matched his natural gifts and then taken the expected standard of performance and lifted it up to show the world what can be done rather than what is being done. That s the hidden power within.
What is within Michael Jordan is merely waiting for another form of expression . This is a man whose first message to the public gathered for his NBA retirement speech was the thoughts of condolence for a slain Chicago police officer. This is the man whose boyhood values have grown up and been energized with the confidence of competing and winning, someone who is both moral and mighty. This is MJ s break and with this break it allows others to reflect on his accomplishments on and off the court. He is a true American story from rags to riches and role model for all.