Why Was Michael Jordan So Competitive? Here’s How His Brother Larry Jordan Boosted His Career

Published 01/14/2021, 10:01 AM EST
DATE: 10/20/01 PHOTO BY : JOEL RICHARDSON DIG MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE WIZARDS HOST NEW JERSEY NETS (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images) | Courtesy: Getty Images


Everyone would call the person who doesn’t consider Michael Jordan the greatest of all time, crazy. For every NBA fan who has a conversation about legends, Jordan’s name is added to that list by default. He is a once in lifetime kind of player who has now become synonymous with the sport. However, the reason for him becoming a basketball player goes very deep into his childhood.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The iconic legacy

After being a part of the league for 15 years, Jordan is one player who not only saw a plethora of success, achieved many accolades, but also had a popularity that was one of a kind. Even before winning the six NBA titles, he had established himself as an all-rounder in the league.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With awards like the Defensive Player of the Year and a plethora of scoring titles, he had instilled fear in his opponents. It’s hard enough to win two back-to-back NBA titles, let alone three. But that’s exactly what Jordan-led Chicago Bulls set out to do during the 1992-1993 season.

In total, Jordan had won six NBA Championships with the Bulls. In fact, throughout his career, he also retired multiple times only to be pulled back to the game he loved so dearly.

Michael Jordan (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Michael Jordan vs Larry Jordan?

Is it true that motivation coming from a place of hatred is far more powerful? Well, this might be the case with MJ. A Brooklyn native, Jordan might have had a backyard court that he used as a canvas to perfect his game. But it was actually the presence of a full-time opponent that made the difference.

Yes, that’s Larry Jordan, MJ’s older brother by a year. Although Michael’s advantage was his height, Larry was a better package. He was more athletic and stronger. Both of them went neck to neck with each other each day, practicing the art of basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, it was MJ’s determination that led him to eventually beat Larry every day, eventually leading to Larry and Jordan’s relationship growing apart. Surprisingly, the sibling’s high school coach, Pop Herring, felt that Larry had more potential.

He stated, “Larry was so driven and so competitive an athlete that if he had been 6’2″ instead of 5’7″, I’m sure Michael would have been known as Larry’s brother instead of Larry always being known as Michael’s brother.”

Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)

That’s got to sting, but the reality is that Michael became a legend and not Larry. But how amazing would it have been if we would have seen both the Jordan brothers battle it out in a professional league? Would MJ have won the six titles he so proudly holds?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Yashima Bhatia

1346 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT