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Michael Jordan's Honest Take On His Tough Leadership: "Winning Has A Price... I Wanted To Make Sure They Were Prepared For The Worst."

Michael Jordan's Honest Take On His Tough Leadership: "Winning Has A Price... I Wanted To Make Sure They Were Prepared For The Worst."

Michael Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time after all the things he achieved with the Chicago Bulls in the 90s. His Airness had to work hard to become a six-time NBA champion and never hesitated to leave his everything on the court. 

Great as he was on the court, his personality and attitude towards his teammates weren't always the best. He demanded the best from them, as he wanted to win at any cost. This approach obviously earned him some criticism and many of those players were resent because of how Michael treated them. 

MJ explained very well how he felt about it and why he always demanded excellence from his teammate, claiming that he knew what it took to win and wanted people to understand it wasn't an easy road. 

Talking in Luc Longley's documentary in 2021, Jordan opened up about his leadership, stating that he wanted to win and wanted to keep everybody around him on the same page. 

“My mentality was to win at all cost and pull, push, yank, whatever to get everybody on the same page,” Jordan said. “I understand it. The thing is, if I were to change my personality to something totally different, I wouldn’t be who I would have been. I don’t think we would have had the same successes. I think a lot of players probably wouldn’t have been the same in terms of their perspective. So yeah, I can see him saying that, but the thing is that I think it was needed in some respect, and I think our success illustrates that.”

Longley's called his leadership 'carnivorous,' and he couldn't help but laugh at it. When he was asked about how the Australian big man felt about his criticism, Jordan got real and explained that he took that approach to achieve what the Bulls achieved, and even though it wasn't liked at the time, he's confident his old teammates know he did it for their success (2nd and 3rd slide).

"Yeah, I've thought that. I think there were a lot of situations where people were critical of the way that I proceeded, but I had a mission, I wanted them to understand what it took to win. Winning has a price... I wanted to make sure they were prepared for the worst, especially in competition. I'm pretty sure there were times they weren't happy with me. I think if you look back now, I'm pretty sure they are, based on what we achieved and our success and what we were able to overcome. As a leader, sometimes you're not gonna be well-liked, but you have to pull them along because you know it, you've experienced it, you understood that the other side of that road is success, so the gratification will be there once we're over that hill. I felt that and I could sense some of that coming from my teammates, but the thing is, for us to be successful, someone had to do that..."

A lot of people were unhappy with Jordan's tactics to get the best out of his teammates, but he never had a problem with that. He did it to get wins and titles, which is exactly what the Bulls achieved during those years. They became one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning six championships in eight years, with Jordan leading them in each one of them. 

Some could say he could have had a different approach, but his original one worked and made him the greatest player of all time. Right now, only a couple of players despise him, but nobody can deny he helped them reach the next level on the court.