Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame Speech: Applicable to Investors

Love him or hate him, Michael Jordan’s ethos – his competitive nature, hunger for excellence, and drive to win – seems to capture the love, hunger, hard work, competitive spirit, and sense of calling one needs to survive and thrive in the money management business (beyond the pursuit of making $). It certainly got LST pumped to rewatch this. Seems appropriate given his 50th birthday.

Presenting both the video and transcript of Michael Jordan’s Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech:

Full transcript of speech (courtesy of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame):

Thank you. Thank you.

I told all my friends I was just gonna come up here and say ‘thank you’ and walk off. I can’t. There’s no way. I got too many people I gotta thank. In all the videos, you never just saw me; you saw Scottie Pippin. Every Championship I won. I’ve had a lot of questions over the last four weeks, and everybody’s saying well ‘why’d you pick David Thompson?’ I know why, and David knows why, and maybe you guys don’t know why, but as I grew up in North Carolina, I was 11 years old in 1974 I think when you guys won the championship. And uh, I was an anti-Carolina guy – I hated UNC, and here I ended up at UNC. But I was in love with David Thompson. Not just for the game of basketball, but in terms of what he represented. You know, we all – as Vivienne said – we go through our trials and tribulations. And, he did. And I was inspired by him. And when I called him and asked him to uh, stand up for me, I know that I shocked the sh1t outta him. (applause, laughter)

I know I did. But…he was very kind and said ‘yea, I’ll do it.’ And that wasn’t out of disrespect to any of my Carolina guys – they all know I’m a true blue Carolina guy to the heart. Coach Smith, Larry Brown, Sam Perkins, James Worthy – you know, all of those guys.

Well it all starts with my parents – you guys see all the highlights; what is it about me that you guys don’t know? Uh, as I sat up here and watch all the other recipients stand up here and they give the history; there’s so many things I didn’t know about Jerry Sloan. I know he lived on a farm, but I didn’t know he was in a small classroom from the first grade to the eighth grade. Even David Robinson – obviously I’ve known David for some time and you know, I’ve found some things out about him, and even with John I found some bad things – or good things out about him. (laughs) And even Viv – Viv, I’ve known Viv for years. Her and my father and my Mom spent a lot of time on the Nike trips and I found out a lot of good things about her, but what about me that you guys don’t know?

I got two brothers – James and Larry – they’re 5’4?, 5’5? in height. (laughs) They gave me all I could ever ask for as a brother in terms of competition. You know you would think – my brother Larry is an ideal situation where small things come in small packages; this dude fought me every single day. And to the extent that my mother used to come out and make us come in because we were fighting way too much. And my older brother was always gone – he served in the Army for 31 years. (applause)

And the competition didn’t stop there – my sister, who is one year younger than me, Raz, never wanted to be home by herself. She took classes – extra classes to graduate from High School with me, to go to University of North Carolina with me, and to graduate – prior – than me. (laughs) And you guys sit there asking where is my competition or where did my competitive nature come from? It came from them. It came from my older sister, who’s not here today. And my father, who’s not here today – obviously he’s with us in all of us. I mean my competitive nature has gone a long way from the first time I picked up any sport – baseball, football, ran track, basketball – anything to miss class, I played it.

So they started the fire in me – that fire started with my parents. And as I moved on in my career people added wood to that fire. Coach Smith, you know what else can I say about him? (applause) You know, he’s legendary in the game of coaching. And then there’s Leroy Smith. Now you guys think that’s a myth. Leroy Smith was a guy when I got cut he made the team – on the Varsity team – and he’s here tonight. He’s still the same 6’7? guy – he’s not any bigger – probably his game is about the same. But he started the whole process with me, because when he made the team and I didn’t, I wanted to prove not just to Leroy Smith, not just to myself, but to the coach that picked Leroy over me, I wanted to make sure you understood – you made a mistake dude. (laughter, applause)

And then there’s Buzz Peterson, my roommate. Now when I first met Buzz – all I heard about was this kid from Ashville, North Carolina who’s player of the year. I’m thinking, ‘well he ain’t never played against me yet, so how did he become Player of the Year?’ Is that some type of media exposure? You know I came from Wimbleton; you know we had two channels, channel ABC and channel NBC, that was it. I never saw NBA sports at all when I grew up; we didn’t have CBS affiliation in North Carolina in Wimbleton, so Buzz Peterson became a dot on my board. And when I got the chance to meet Buzz Peterson on the basketball court or in person – Buzz was a great person, it wasn’t a fault of his. It was just that my competitive nature – I didn’t think that he could beat me, or he was better than me as a basketball player. And he became my roommate. And from that point on, he became a vocal point – not knowingly; he didn’t know it – but he did. And Coach Smith, the day that he was on the Sports Illustrated and he named four starters and he didn’t name me – that burned me up! Because I thought I belonged on that Sports Illustrated. Now he had his own vision about giving a Freshman that exposure, and I totally understand that, but from a basketball sense I deserved to be on that Sports Illustrated, and he understand that.

And it didn’t stop there. You know, my competitive nature went right into the pros; I get to the Bulls, which I was very proud

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