What Makes a Great Athlete?

By Nadir

What makes a great athlete? Skill? Drive? Sportsmanship? Well yes and no. Yes, of course, to be successful and great as an athlete you need to perform well and have the skill and athleticism. However being a great athlete doesn’t just include skill or athleticism, it requires respect and value for your team and your fans, that means showing respect to players who came before you and fought before you. Greatness is developed not just in sports but can be developed by anyone anywhere. Athletes just help facilitate it through sports for future generations.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 11.14.00 AMKevin Durant also is known as the snake, no not the Kobe Bryant Black Mamba type of snake but the slippery, crafty and unloyal type. Durant is one of the most hated players in the NBA but possesses the skills and athleticism all great players have. Durant doesn’t have a good public image since he doesn’t commit to one team and stay loyal to his teammates and fans. Durant played with the Seattle Sonics for quite some time, he even played with them when their name got bought and they became Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant had success with that team but got defeated by Miami Heat with Lebron, Wade, Bosh and Ray Allen.                                         

That wasn’t the problem. In 2016 Durant signed a contract to leave the Thunder, he didn’t see the future even with Westbrook and Harden. The point is being an athlete is more than skill and technique, it requires full motivation towards yourself and your teammates as well as fans. Durant just left OKC without even telling his fans let alone his own teammates.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 11.14.07 AMMichael Jeffrey Jordan differs from other professional players because of his charisma off the basketball court. Jordan was a revolutionary player who set the tone for basketball forever. Sadly that age appears to be lost. Jordan is the G.O.A.T that is no question, he had a huge impact on children in the streets of America and less fortunate people. Jordan created a brand called; well Jordan. 

Jordans brand is unlike any shoe brand or clothing brand, it makes people want to be like him. Kids have reported saying that when putting on a pair of Jordans they really feel like they can fly like the man himself, it fills them with joy and happiness. Famous rapper Macklemore made a whole song about Jordans shoes “WINGS” and later he even got to collaborate with the brand and create his own pair. This is what separates Jordan from the crowd. 

Comparing Kevin Durant and Michael Jordan makes me cringe, they are polar opposites. Mike was a leader and Durant was a follower, Durant sailed off to Golden State to win his first championship and ended up winning two in a row. Hence why his previous fans hate him. “Be like Mike” a famous catchphrase that is still around to this day, Jordan was so influential his greatness rubbed off on his teammates and coaches. Scottie Pippen a companion of Jordan who won 5 championships with Jordan described him as a player like no other: “When you talk about trying to compare Michael’s instinct, his ability to take over games, his ability to want to have that last shot…” Scottie describes Jordan as one of a kind player that will never exist again.  

In conclusion, Greatness is not fully defined by skill for the sport, but a players power, strive and charisma to make an impact on the world off the court. That’s what separates Michael Jordan from the crowd, achieving greatness takes a lot more than just skill, it takes courage, drive, and leadership and that’s what makes a great athlete. These skills don’t just apply to sports, that’s why it is important, anyone can become great if they really try to master those techniques. Help the world by setting the tone so that future generations can build upon what you already gave.


Works Cited

Cogswell, Ron. “Michael Jordan (#23) of the Chicago Bulls — The National Museum of     African American History and Culture Washington (DC) 2017.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 24 Nov. 2017, www.flickr.com/photos/22711505@N05/38623291981

“Wikimedia.” Https://Upload.wikimedia.org/Wikipedia/Commons/4/43/Kevin_Durant_5.Jpg, upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Kevin_Durant_5.jpg.