Saban: Michael Jordan epitomizes ‘the ultimate sacrifice you have to make to win’
The media buzz over ESPN’s 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan recently overlapped with University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban, who recently shared his thoughts on the sacrifices necessary to be a champion.
One particular clip from “The Last Dance” appears to have caught Saban’s attention.
The clip in question comes at the end of episode seven. In it, Jordan gets emotional about the sacrifices he had made to win, and how his expectations for excellence had hurt some of those around him.
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“When people see this, they’re going to say, ‘He wasn’t merely a nice guy, he may have been a tyrant,'” remarks Jordan in the clip.
“That’s you, because you never won anything,” Jordan says about his hypothetical detractors.
The episode in full had shown several examples of Jordan pushing his teammates to the brink, using meanness and trash talk to get every last ounce of competitiveness out of the men who put on the same jersey he did.
Saban filmed a video for Alabama football’s social media channels in which he reacts to the clip, also referring to the late, great Kobe Bryant’s visit to Tuscaloosa in the summer of 2018.
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“[T]his sort of defines the ultimate competitor, the ultimate sacrifice you have to make to win, the ultimate sacrifice you have to make to be a leader,” Saban says about the clip of Jordan. “It probably explains, you know, what we’ve tried to accomplish here in this program by what we bring out in our players, which is to help them be the best version of themselves as people, as students and as players, and get people to aspire to be the very best that they can be. That’s all we’ve tried to do here.”
“And I’ve never heard anyone articulate it any better than Michael Jordan just did, because that’s the kind of competitor he was,” adds Saban, who believes Jordan is “maybe the greatest player of all time.”
The reaction video on social media is not the only time Saban talked about that clip of Jordan.
“There’s a price to pay for being a leader. You have to push people to get them to do things that they might not want to do,” Saban told 247sports.com about the video clip.
Saban believes the sacrifices made by Jordan’s teammates are similar to the ones Saban asks Crimson Tide players to make.
“It might make them uncomfortable. Everybody wants to be comfortable, but you’ve got to get used to being uncomfortable if you’re really going to be successful and you’re really going to be good,” added Saban in the 247sports interview.