Early in Michael Jordan’s career, guys like Larry Bird and Isaiah Thomas, and teams like the Celtics and the Pistons prevented him from reaching his ultimate goal. But MJ took his losses, learned his lessons and came back stronger and better each year until he was at the top of the league.
Success isn’t promised or given to anybody; especially not sustainable success. If you see somebody like Michael Jordan on top for an extended period of time, it’s because they have put in the work to get there, and they have continued the work to stay there. They have overcome challenges and adversity that we will never see or know about on their journey. They just never quit.
That is what MJ’s former teammate B.J. Armstrong said about him.
“One thing I can say about Michael Jordan, nothing was going to deny him to achieve what he wanted to achieve. That includes the Bulls’ front office, the league, or whomever. The man just had an undeniable spirit about himself.”
There are many talented players in the NBA, but there aren’t nearly as many who are willing to put in the work that it takes to be the best (I’m looking at you Ben Simmons). The work is the difference. The will is the difference. Having a goal and a plan is the difference. Being willing to overcome everything that can and will get in the way is the difference.
B.J. Armstrong is a three-time NBA champion and a one-time NBA All-Star with the Bulls. He was the starting point guard in the 1992-93 season, averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 assists in 30.4 minutes over 82 games. Armstrong left the Bulls after the 1994-95 season and played five more years in NBA. He returned to the Bulls and retired with them in the 1999-00 campaign.
Armstrong is now a sports agent for the Wasserman Group out of Los Angeles. The NBA and Audible teamed for a 10-part podcast series called ‘Beyond the Last Dance’ that continued the story of the Chicago Bulls. BJ Armstrong co-hosted the series with former Bulls reporter J.A. Adande.