air jordan In the past few weeks, the sports world has been dealing with life without Michael Jordan. We have been bombarded with highlights and interviews, all proclaiming Jordan as perhaps the greatest basketball player and athlete of all time. But Jordan's most important contribution to sport and perhaps the world, was that he knew how to win against any odds, making him the greatest winner of all time.
The verb win originates from the Anglo-Saxon verb winnan, which means to gain something from toil and suffering. Thus, winning is more than who is ahead on the scoreboard or who holds the trophy at the end of the season. Winning is an ability to take something from competition and put it toward winning next time, no matter which side of the score one may be on.
And believe it or not, there was a time before the championships and MVPs, there was a time when Jordan was only great and not the greatest, and was on the wrong side of that scoreboard more times than he would have liked.
Jordan thought he could win games all by himself, and many of them he did, but that strategy only took him to the Eastern Conference Finals when Detroit's Jordan Rules kicked in and he was forced to watch the Finals from his living room.
It took a while, but after all the losses and frustration, Jordan became a not ably winner but a winnar. He gained something from all those games, all those failures, he gained humility. Enough humility to win a championship, but he never sacrificed his confidence in himself or his abilities. He just changed his game. He started to pass. He improved his outside shot. He became the player that makes the players around him better. This being a label that was attached to players like Magic and Larry and Isaiah; Players who were winning NBA titles.
It is Jordan's quality as a winner that transcends his legend above the game of basketball. To know that the greatest basketball player of all time never made his high school junior varsity basketball team. To know that although he was the best that has ever played the game of basketball disregards the fact that he had no problem becoming an average minor league baseball player that couldn't hit a curveball. To know that Jordan, like the rest of us could lose his father. Jordan was the greatest because he wasn't perfect. He was never the Adonis that he appeared to be on the basketball court.
He showed the world that man can fly without wings. He showed the world that no matter how much you achieve there is always a next level. He is the greatest winner that has ever lived in any sense of the word.