Nick Saban built Alabama with same mindset as Michael Jordan had with Chicago Bulls

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Alabama football coach Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time but he admitted he learned a lot from Michael Jordan while watching The Last Dance.

The goat learned a lot from the goat as he watched The Last Dance on ESPN.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban was among the millions who were glued to the ESPN docu-series about Michael Jordan and the rise and fall of the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 90s. Saban is considered the greatest college football coach of all time with six national championships, including five since arriving at Alabama, but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn some principles to be even better.

Saban called Jordan the ultimate competitor in a video that was released by the Alabama football social media accounts. Referring to the clip at the end of episode 7 of The Last Dance when Jordan talked about the price of being a leader and the sacrifices that need to be made in order to win. Saban and Jordan are cut from the same cloth and the Alabama head coach was soaking up the wisdom from his Airness.

“This sort of defines the ultimate competitor, Saban said. The ultimate sacrifice that you have to make to win. The ultimate sacrifice that you have to make to be a leader.”

“It probably explains what we have tried to do here [at Alabama], with this program, by what we try to bring out in our players, which is to be the best version of themselves as people, as students, and as players and get people to aspire to be the very best that they can be. That is all we have ever tried to do here. I have never heard anyone articulate it like Michael Jordan did, because of the competitor that he was.”

Nick Saban relates to Michael Jordan’s leadership

One of my favorite parts about sports is when the legends of their sport get together to pick each other’s brains. Whether it’s at All-Star Games, Hall of Fame induction ceremonies or other events, I love to hear what one great thinks of the other and what they are able to learn from them and add to their personal inventory.

Saban has never been shy about having speakers from other sports and industries speak to his teams. He had Kobe Bryant address the team in 2018 when the late Lakers star spoke about the need to “edit your life” in order to reach your goals. If something in your life is preventing you from achieving them, cut them out.

“When Kobe Bryant was here, he made a statement, ‘You have to edit your behavior to accomplish the goals that you have,’ ” Saban recalled. “I think sometimes people are reluctant to do that because it’s hard. It’s not comfortable. It’s very uncomfortable. You have to get used to being uncomfortable if you really want to be good at something because it’s going to be difficult.

“You have to overcome adversity. There’s no way you can do that and have things be easy. These statements epitomize what we believe in terms of what we try to do to have our players be the best they can be.”

I won’t hold my breath on Jordan giving a speech to Alabama football in the near future, but I would love a meeting between Saban and Jordan where they could share what it means to be an ultimate competitor, sacrifice to win and what it means to be a leader.

Sign me up for a 10-hour documentary on those two goats.

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