Saturday, December 19, 2009


If anything, some thought, Dean Smith was a little harder on Michael Jordan every day in practice then he was on other young players, as if accepting his greater possibilities and his own limitless ambition and holding him to it, setting higher standards for him than for the others. Roy Williams was also always pushing Jordan to work harder in practice. “I’m working as hard as everyone else,” Jordan answered.

“But Michael, you told me you wanted to be the best,” Williams once reminded him. “And if you want to be the best, then you have to work harder than everyone else.” There was, Williams thought, a long pause, while Jordan pondered that. Finally he said, “Coach, I understand.”

From "Playing for Keeps" by David Halberstam