Michael Jordan spoke to Sturat Scott about the narrative that he cannot accept losing. The interview took place during Mike’s 1998 NBA Finals.
The GOAT status of Michael Jordan against great players like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, and LeBron James could be reasonably argued. However, there is something about Jordan that could barely be challenged. He is and remains so, the unprecedented GOAT of assassin mentality. There were narratives in the league in 1998 that the Chicago Bulls legend couldn’t accept losing.
The 4 x Finals MVP won his first NBA championship after spending eight years in the league. Jordan won his first NBA championship in 1991, and since then he won championship after championship every year he played in the league. Perhaps the continuity of wins and not a scent of loss made people think that Jordan is incapable of accepting the loss in the NBA finals because he has never lost.
Stuart Scott sat with Michael Jordan during his sixth and last NBA finals in 1998 and ask Jordan about the narrative in people’s minds. “There are a lot of people out there who think if Michael Jordan loses he is not going to know what to do because he has never lost in NBA finals before,” Scott said. Jordan sarcastically highlighted the fact that he has never lost in the NBA finals. “That’s true I have never lost but I mean I can accept losing with a learning experience that things were not meant to be for Michael Jordan this time,” Michael said.
Michael Jordan goes off against Utah in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals.
45 points and the iconic game-winner to secure his 6th ring. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/hpdJuoxwr5
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) October 11, 2020
Nobody was better than Michael Jordan in trying hard to win
Pointing at the 5 championship rings on Michael’s fingers and competing for his 6th, Scott asked about his 6th ring. The 5 x league MVP said that he was now being greedy for his 6th ring. “In this scenario, I am in some ways being greedy because I want to continue to win,” Jordan said. “You have enough to be satisfied it’s not,” he added.
The 6x NBA champion also denied the narrative that losing would have a big effect on him. He said that he can accept losing but can’t except someone exceeding him in trying to win. “I don’t look at it in the sense that it would drive me nuts, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I can accept losing I just cannot accept trying to go out and exceeded,” Mike answered.
On this date in 1998, Michael Jordan scored 45 points including a game-winning jumper with 5.2 seconds left to win his 6th title.
That’s still the last go-ahead FG made in the final 24 seconds of a potential series-clinching NBA Finals game. pic.twitter.com/eEYeQA0zef
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2022
Going back to the idea that people around the league think he can not accept losing, Mike told Scott that he has already won 5 rings and that makes losing easier to accept and he would remain a winner. “The object of competing is to win but being that you have won in the past make losing acceptable,” said Jordan. Michael Jordan won his 6th ring with the Bulls the same year against the Utah Jazz in 1998.