Basketball fans around the world were given a special treat recently, as Netflix released a 10 part documentary series centred on basketball legend, Michael Jordan, and his achievements with the Chicago Bulls during the late 1990s.
Audiences were able to relive these historical moments, which saw this team become NBA world champions six times in eight years thanks to Jordan’s talents, competitive spirit and work ethic that remained intact in spite of his fame and wealth. The viewers were also given insight into some previously unknown facts such as the decision to dissolve the team in 1998 preventing them from competing for a seventh NBA title, and details pertaining to the murder of Michael Jordan’s father, and how that personally affected the player.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls took basketball as a sport to a whole new level. Michael Jordan’s gravity defying jumps (he was once asked if he could fly, he answered yes but only for a few seconds), talent and physical attributes greatly improved the sport as he and his team became a global phenomenon. Of course, this doesn’t take away from the contributions that his predecessors, such as Karim Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, made to the sport. Nor does that take away from his talented contemporaries such as Charles Barclay, Clyde Drexler and Carl Malone and many others. But Jordan’s accomplishments, qualifications and ,of course, highly competitive and disciplined nature made him overshadow these other players. Jordan was able to transform the game into an industry.
Basketball fans will get an intimate view into Michael Jordan’s personal life, his relations with his club and his teammates, as well as the atmosphere and events that accompanied his career. Viewers will also get to see how basketball became a global sport, and how the Bulls played an essential part of that development.
Jordan presented NBA directors with the perfect opportunity to radically change basketball, and that’s what they did. The popularity of Jordan and the Bulls helped spread the sport to 214 countries. Moreover, before Jordan’s professional career, NBA teams would only cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but during Jordan’s time, NBA team values rose to millions. Sports goods also enjoyed an unprecedented global renaissance, this is especially true for American clothing and sports equipment company, "Nike," which Jordan represented. NBA finals have become some of the most watched global sports events, and news on player transfers have become widely covered by various media outlets.
From here, it is important to acknowledge one other person, whose work is often overshadowed by the performances of Jordan and the Bulls. David Stern, former commissioner of the National Basketball Association, managed the industry skillfully. He recognized and took the oppurtunity of marketing the sport nationally and internationally through a big star like Jordan. Thanks to Stern’s marketing strategy, basketball quickly became a globally watched sport that could now compete with other global sports in terms popualarity.
At the end of the day, success is the result of collective effort. Though fate undoutebly plays a role in success, its key is exploitation of opportunity and proper organization. Success places people on the front lines, in this case Jordan , his team mates and players from rival teams. However, people in the back lines also play important roles in any success story, and in this case we have David Stern who cleverly managed the NBA and watched it become the empire it is today. The success of the NBA during the late 1990s meant that it would continue to be a popular entity for years to come, furthermore the accomplishments of Jordan, the Bulls and Stern paved the way for future super stars such as Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Stephen Kerry.
This example shows how the West differs from the Arab world in most fields. The reason why Western institutions are more successful than ours lies in their better management, their better distribution of jobs and roles, their tendency to plan ahead for the future and their tendency to do what is in best interest for the group.