Michael Jordan’s Lack of Patience Kept Him From Ever Becoming a Basketball Coach
When you think of Michael Jordan, it’s hard to imagine him doing anything other than winning. His Airness, of course, took home six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls; he’s also a fierce competitor on the golf course and, while his minor league baseball career wasn’t elite, it was still better than you might think. Despite that incredible track record, though, there’s one place where MJ hasn’t taken his talents: a head coaching role.
While the NBA legend is still immersed in the world of professional basketball, don’t expect to see him on the bench anytime soon. His Airness simply doesn’t think he has the patience to ever become a coach.
Michael Jordan’s winning career
During his basketball career, Michael Jordan established himself as one of the most dominant players we’ve ever seen. He wasn’t just an individual star, though. His Airness was also a serial winner.
Jordan’s first major victory, however, didn’t come in the NBA. During the guard’s first season at the University of North Carolina, he hit the game-winning shot to seal the Tar Heels 1982 national title. That moment would set a precedent for things to come; not only was Jordan a star, but he was capable of willing his team to victory.
In the professional ranks, Jordan would stake a claim to every honor in sight. With the Chicago Bulls, he won six NBA championships; he also took home MVP awards, All-Star nominations, a Rookie of the Year title, a Defensive Player of the Year award, and virtually every other distinction that an athlete could receive.
Even in retirement, Jordan is still a massive success. While his Charlotte Hornets aren’t going to win the title anytime soon, His Airness has used the team to build a massive net worth. His fortune is estimated at $2.1 billion; between that and his Air Jordan brand, he won’t be hurting for money anytime soon.
Don’t expect a coaching career anytime soon, though
Despite Michael Jordan’s history of success, His Airness has never taken to the sidelines to coach a basketball team. While it’s tough to believe that some owner or general manager wouldn’t want the legend to impart his wisdom to their players, MJ simply isn’t interested.
In a 2017 interview with Cigar Aficionado, editor-in-chief Marvin Shanken asked Jordan if he had ever tried his hand at coaching. After the NBA legend replied that he hadn’t, Shanken wondered if he ever wanted to lead a team from the sidelines.
“No. I have no patience for coaching,” Jordan explained. “My biggest problem from a competitive standpoint is the focus of today’s athlete. For me to ask an individual to focus on the game the way I played would, in some ways, be unfair. And if he didn’t do it, there’s no telling where my emotions would be. I don’t think I would have the patience for it. Coaching is not something I ever thought I could do from an emotional standpoint, because I have a different perception than the kids of today.”
Michael Jordan actually makes a good point about coaching
While it’s not every day that you hear Michael Jordan admit he doesn’t have the right mindset to do something, His Airness does have a point. Athletic success isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be a star on the sidelines.
If anything, history has shown us that role players make better coaches than stars. Teaching and leadership require humility, patience, and the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes; when you could dominate a game without even trying, it’s tough to understand any other reality. MJ is more than capable of providing some perspective or nuggets of on-court advice, but leading a team through the grind of a season takes more than basketball talent.
Beyond Michael Jordan’s talent, it seems he has another advantage in the competitive space. His Airness knows that discretion is the better part of valor; if a venture, like coaching, is doomed for failure, he’s simply not going to get involved.