Michael Jordan showed his emotional side on Sunday night in the latest episodes of The Last Dance. One recurrent topic in the 8 episodes we’ve seen of the 10-part docuseries is how MJ treated his teammates and the tactics he used to motivate them and make them better players. Jordan explained his mentality and competitiveness with the Bulls in the 90s.
“My mentality was to go out and win at any cost,” Jordan said. “If you don’t want to live that regimented mentality, then you don’t need to be alongside of me because I’m going to ridicule you until you get on the same level with me.
“And if you don’t get on the same level, then it’s going to be hell for you.”
He also talked about the things that players must sacrifice in order to win, which was something he tried to teach his teammates when they arrived at the team.
“Winning has a price,” Jordan said. “And leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged. And I earned that right because [other] teammates came after me.
“They didn’t endure all the things that I endured. Once you joined the team, you lived at a certain standard that I played the game. And I wasn’t going to take anything less.”
In the end, we saw an emotional Jordan after being asked if he’s too hard on his teammates. After that, he asked director Jason Hehir for a break before the screen went black.
“You ask all my teammates, the one thing about Michael Jordan was, ‘He never asked me to do something that he didn’t [expletive] do,'” Jordan said. “When people see this, they’ll say, ‘Well, he wasn’t really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant.’ Well, that’s you. Because you never won anything. I wanted to win, but I wanted [my teammates] to win and be a part of that as well.”
“Look, I don’t have to do this,” he added before he was choked up. “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.”
You can say anything you want about Jordan, but he did win championships, he made his teammates better and took them to be winners in the NBA. Last week ESPN released a teaser of the 7th and 8th episodes of The Last Dance, and Jordan’s teammates were clear about the things Jordan did for them on his quest for championships.
“He crossed the line numerous times, but as time goes on and you think back about what he was actually trying to accomplish, you’re like ‘hey, he was a hell of a teammate’,” Will Purdue said.
“He was pushing us all to be better because he wanted to win. And guess what? It worked,” Bill Wennington claimed.
— ESPN (@espn) May 7, 2020
MJ had his ways to be successful, and they worked.