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Sport Michael Jordan, layer by layer, pulls back the curtain on his life and career

19:05  16 april  2020
19:05  16 april  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Just how much of Michael Jordan, one of the most recognizable people on the planet even years after he retired from the NBA remains to be revealed? Indeed, just how much is there to him than his relentless drive?

a close up of Michael Jordan throwing a ball: “The Last Dance” offers a comprehensive look at the end of Chicago’s dynasty and presents Michael Jordan’s own account of his cutthroat approach to competition and leadership. (Beth A. Keiser/AP Photo) © BETH A. KEISER/ASSOCIATED PRESS “The Last Dance” offers a comprehensive look at the end of Chicago’s dynasty and presents Michael Jordan’s own account of his cutthroat approach to competition and leadership. (Beth A. Keiser/AP Photo)

We’re beginning to find out there’s a lot.

Jordan revealed his personal side when he wept and made a joke at his expense during a raw tribute at the memorial for Kobe Bryant in February. Now, in a 10-hour documentary that begins Sunday on ESPN, now he’s going to show more of what motivated him to become the guy who could fly in the chronicle of his final championship season with the Chicago Bulls.  

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During the novel coronavirus outbreak, Air Jordan is sheltered with his wife and twins in Florida and said he keeps in touch with his three adult children and family over the phone in an interview with “Good Morning America.” Perhaps it’s the nature of these times or the perspective that comes from being a 57-year-old grandfather, but Jordan spoke mostly of his family with Robin Roberts.

“We’re blessed, obviously,” he said. “ … The family is doing well, mom, brothers and sisters, everybody is doing well, so we’re very blessed, especially with what’s going on in the world. Look, our hearts and our prayers go out to … all the families that are enduring this unbelievable tragedy that’s happening to America and to the world.”

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“The Last Dance” chronicles that final season, one that Jordan called “a trying year. We were all trying to enjoy that year, knowing it was coming to an end. At the beginning of the season, it started when Jerry Krause [the Bulls’ general manager] had told Phil [Jackson] he could go 82-0 and he would never get the chance to come back. Knowing that I’d married myself to him, obviously, and if he wasn’t going to be the coach, then obviously I wasn’t going to play. Phil started off the year by saying it was ‘the last dance’ and we played it that way. …

“As sad as it sounded at the beginning of the year, we tried to rejoice and enjoy the year and finish it off the right way.”

The documentary is a reminder of how much time has passed since Jordan’s glory days and is a history lesson for young fans who know him only as a Nike brand. Jordan, then “Mike,” spoke of writing letters to his mom while he was at the University of North Carolina, asking for stamps and money.

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“It’s a little different today, quite frankly. I had a phone bill that was probably $60 or a little less and I had only $20 in my account. My kids laugh about it when they see it, but we used postage stamps back in those days. I had to ask my mom to send me postage stamps. Looking at the video, you’re going to see a lot of things that — people have forgotten that life was this way.

“We didn’t have Instagram, we didn’t have Twitter, so you had to live life as it came. Each day … you learned — the education aspect, spending time with friends and family, it wasn’t via the phone. It was actually in [their] presence. You wrote letters.”

He wrote his mom, who kept his letters and reads from them in “The Last Dance.” “That’s probably the most refreshing thing,” he said, “that my mom, she kept all my letters. It’s somewhat embarrassing, but yet it’s refreshing that I took the time to write a letter and say how much I love my mom and what I needed in college.”

Hitting the championship-winning shot for UNC in 1982 changed Mike Jordan into Michael because “up until that time, nobody knew who I was.”

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Jordan’s father, who was murdered in 1993, knew the way to motivate Jordan was to tell him he couldn’t do something and besides his blazing talent, Jordan was hard-working and willing to risk career-ending injuries to keep playing.

“My father worked at General Electric for years, trying to provide for his family, all over southern North Carolina. My mom worked for a bank, for Corning Glass. They were hard-working people; they instilled that not just in me but in my brothers and sisters. I just lived vicariously through them and learned it from them. It just became a part of my nature. I always look at a negative and turn it into a positive.”

Jordan has promised that viewers of “The Last Dance” might not always like what they see because he rarely was Mr. Nice Guy.

“Look, winning has a price,” told the Athletic in an interview that included director Jason Hehir, “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 my teammates who came after me 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 any less. Now, if that means I had to go in there and get in your a-- a little bit, then I did that. You ask all my teammates. The one thing about Michael Jordan was he never asked me to do something that he didn’t f---ing do.

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“When people see this they are going 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 them to win to be a part of that as well. Look, I don’t have to do this. I am 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.”

He rode his Bulls teammates relentlessly on the way to winning six championships. “When people see this footage, I’m not sure they’re going to be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I acted, and why I said the things I said,” Jordan said.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!