legendary basketball

There are lots of really good players who have played in professional basketball, but very few are so good, so transcendent, that they become legendary. Those players, like Michael Jordan or Larry Bird, all share qualities that only a few players have. Those qualities aren’t limited to the world of sports; in fact, these same qualities have been shown in research to be shared among many of the worlds most accomplished people in any field, from Bill Gates to Martha Stewart. Reading this should help provide a blueprint, in any walk of life, to understanding why some players go from ‘great’ to ‘legendary’ and how this applies to anyone regardless of their path in life. Not everyone has the abilities to become a legendary performer in their field, but those that do share all of these.

1. They are always thinking several moves ahead.

On the basketball court, they aren’t just focused on the current play, they are also thinking about the next play and the next period. In life, great ‘stars’ in any business do the same. They are always thinking about what they are going to do ‘next’.

2. They work hardest when the lights are off

Before the crowds would file in to watch the huge NBA match ups of the day, Michael Jordan would be in the gym, alone, shooting free throws, sometimes with his eyes closed. It’s not enough to be good some of the time; Legendary performers put in massive amounts of work that the world will never see.

3. They are focused on the important things

Legendary performers have a laser focus on specific things and see them through to completion. This is not to say that they ignore everything else in their life. But humans often spend cumulative years of their life on things that they feel are important but are just wasted time. Stars know how to strip away the fluff and pay attention to the thing that will get them closer to what they want.

4. They understand the game flow and keep a balance

Even though sports are emotionally charged and physical, legendary players are known for their composure under the most extreme competition. Even in a game 7 of a playoff game, seconds to go, playing on the road, with thousands of hostile fans screaming at them, they can look around at their teammates and tell a joke. They don’t get too high or too low during the game, regardless of the score.

5. They see the game mentally as well as physically

A legendary player understands that for every offensive attack, there is a defensive adjustment, and vice versa. It’s about more than just not going for ball fakes; it’s about getting into the other players head, and not just with trash talk. Legendary players understand that you can shoot an outside shot, which will make the defender play them closer, thus allowing for the drive by. They understand that using the same move every time down the floor will not work; they want the defense to be backpeddling, to be second guessing themselves.

6. They see themselves as their biggest competition

A lot of players over time have complained about not getting enough press or about rankings which have them lower on a list than other players. But legendary players – regardless of whether they were ‘nice guys’ or complete jerks – only really cared about their own standard of performance. They were their own biggest fan while also being their own harshest critic.

7. They never have to be reminded to pracice

Many players work hard. However, any professional trainer can rattle off dozens of players who routinely saunter into practice or don’t really put in much work other than what has been requested. But legendary playersnever need a schedule to be set out for them. They are self motivated and do not need anyone to babysit their efforts.

8. They understand the process of failure

No one is born with perfect ability, no matter how smart or athletically gifted. Albert Einstein wasn’t born knowing the theory of relativity; Michelangelo wasn’t born with the ability to paint the Sistine Chapel. To develop a skill or specialized knowledge comes with practice and time, and that means the first time – or maybe the first 1,000 times – are works in progress. This goes along with #3, where once a person has identified the important things to work on/focus on/accomplish, they also understand they will fail a lot before they achieve it and that is just part of the process. There will be mistakes, there will be adversity, there will be frustration, but at no point in history has anyone achieved greatness without those things along the way.

Michael Jordan angry
Michael Jordan gently discusses an issue with the ref

By Marcus Shockley

If you haven’t heard about Mike Rice, the head coach of Rutgers men’s basketball team and his abuse of his players during practice, you can catch up with the video below. Needless to say, Mike Rice should be fired – under no circumstances is this acceptable behavior for anyone, child or adult. I would go so far as to say that the fact that the Athletic Director didn’t fire Rice immediately should be concern about the AD as well.

But one issue that this raises is that many sports pundits have taken to the idea that in order to be great in sports, either as a player or a coach, you have to be a megalomaniac, completely absorbed in your own desires and focused only on yourself, to the point of complete disregard for anyone else in any capacity.

The popular icon of this is Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, who also became one of the biggest egos of all time; it has become commonplace to refer to any dysfunctional or abusive behavior as ‘what is required’ in order to be legendary. Several players are said to have this ‘winning’ attitude: Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods and Serena Williams have all been described in such terms.

But it’s not true.

There is a common phrase used in the field of statistics whenever a theory is introduced based on only a few variables: “Correlation does not imply causation”. To put this in plain English, just because you have a couple of examples of something occurring does not make it true for all cases, or even true in general.

There are some things that hold true; fierce competitiveness, focus and a strong discipline are all factors of every legendary player. Many pro players are stunted emotionally because as they’ve worked like mad at their sport, outside of sports they are handed many things for most of their life.

But there are plenty of examples of players who won – a lot – and weren’t crushing people with their ego along the way.

Jackie Robinson, the focus of a new movie about how he broke the color barrier in baseball, was such an example. Think Robinson wasn’t as great as Kobe? Consider that Jackie Robinson was so good that he forced racist business owners to completely change their beliefs; forced their hand because they would rather go against hundreds of years of cultural and societal taboos rather than pass on his talent.

But even today there are tons of examples of superstar athletes who aren’t preening egomaniacs – Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Roger Federer and Kelly Slater all have lengthy careers – all would be HOF or the equivalent in their sport – and none have the supposed burning self-love that is claimed to be a prerequisite to greatness.

Let us not forget how many jerks we run into, in all walks of life, every single day. People cut each other off in traffic; push ahead of each other in line at grocery stores; steal office supplies; start rumors about each other; cheat on their spouses. The vast majority of those people behave like jackasses a lot, some of them to the point of ruining their marriages and careers. Their behavior certainly doesn’t make them legendary.

The simple truth is this: if someone is a legendary player and behaves like a jackass, they are just a jerk who is also good at their sport. They are not great because they are a jerk. If being a jackass made people great, our world would be teeming with amazingly talented people on every street corner.

Go ahead an nod along, you know I’m right. There are plenty of untalented knuckleheads in the world.

So, let’s call it what it is when people have dysfunctional, anti-social behavior instead of dressing it up and dismissing it as a quality. Kobe Bryant is a great player, but he’s also a jackass. Michael Jordan was the greatest player, and he is also a jackass. Let’s not confuse the two.

And Mike Rice? Yeah, well, there’s really no question what he is.

Marcus Shockley is the founder of BasketballElite.com and a member of the US Basketball Writers Association. You can follow Marcus on Twitter right this second.

Chris Bosh

So we haven’t done one of these in a while, but we like to take a swing around the world of basketball sometimes just to see what’s going on.

First off, taking place this weekend is the NBAPA Top 100 camp, an elite invite-only camp for the Top 100 high school basketball players in the country, or at least pretty close to the Top 100. Corey Pegram is covering the event for us, in addition to his normal recruiting work for Wake Forest’s BloggerSoDear and his own blog. You should follow Corey on Twitter so you can keep up with his update tweets from the camp.

The Bobcats continue to wallow through their coaching search and now they’ve lost the highest profile candidate as Jerry Sloan has pulled himself out of the running. Meanwhile, rumors floated that owner Michael Jordan was entertaining the possibility of trading the #2 overall pick, which the Bobcats have in this year’s NBA draft, to Oklahoma City for James Harden.

Brandon Bass, who is coming off a solid playoff series performance, despite the Celtics’ loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, has decided to test the free agent waters.

Gerald Wallace is also planning to opt out and go the free agent route as well.

Finally, the NBA playoffs are the focal point of the basketball universe, with Miami drawing even at 1-1 and gaining home court advantage as the series heads back to South Beach. But the real question isn’t whether the OKC defense can get the stops they need or whether Lebron will indeed get a ring. Chris Bosh has always been the ‘odd man out’ of the big three, talented enough to be in the Big Three for Miami but always the first name that gets tossed out whenever people start talking about trades and the Heat. If it wasn’t bad enough that during the entire Miami debacle that has become the Lebron/Wade era, Bosh has endured the same hatred while simply keeping his head down and working. Unfortunately, it just isn’t clicking for Chris, who can’t even get his team high-fives right.

Staff Reports

It’s fun to see the proliferation of mixtapes that are common for many players today, and they range from highlight tapes showcasing the players’ overall game to heavily stylized, slow motion free-for-alls. These are fun, but often they don’t match reality.

Perhaps the only player whose mixtape matches the reality of seeing him play is Michael Jordan. Jordan made the phenomenal play seem routine. Here’s some video of Jordan in HD that shows his essence, his ability to score and dominate even the greatest basketball players in the world.

NBA 2k11 PC Review

At one time, EA Sports’ franchise basketball title NBA Live ruled the simulated gaming world, but the recent surge by 2k has put their game at the top of the heap. But you don’t have to pick one or the other if you’ve got a GameFly account, you can just pick both and see which one you like better.

Of course, it’s always considered a banner edition of any game when Michael Jordan, who guards his image relentlessly, appears in game play. Some people say it’s a fitting match for His Airness, arguably the greatest player of all time, to appear in what could be the greatest basketball game of all time. If you’re unsure which games you want to get immersed in, you may want to check out the ones in this Farmingless article.

But, hyperbole aside, the game still shows the polish and slick finish that allowed 2k to overtake one of EA’s top games. If you want your game to be more exciting, you can try downloading scripts from sites like RBX Paste.

Go ahead and visit Casinoslotsforum.com to find out a lot of games and have the opportunity to win prizes while playing.

Even though the controls are better, and some of the bugs from last year’s edition have been ironed out, the most impressive features of 2k11 are actually the incredible amount of work put into recreating Jordan’s game and abilities, and the improvement of the simulated GM. It also has the best warzone hack which can easily the best general management sim of any game I’ve played, I can’t help but wonder if several NBA teams with lousy GM’s couldn’t get better results from using replacing their management with this game. I’m only partially kidding.

If you love basketball and haven’t tried this game, you should get a GameFly account just to check it out.

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