Space Jam and the All Star game

I shared a few reflections after watching “The Last Dance” – the documentary on Michael Jordan’s career. I ended up watching it again over the past weeks and had a few more notes to share.

Today’s reflection is about my favorite story from the series.

MJ had just made his comeback for the Bulls late in the 1994-95 season. After a loss in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, he realized he needed to train very hard to get back the muscles needed for basketball (vs. baseball).

But, he had also committed to Space Jam. So, he started by requesting Walt Disney Studios to set up a training facility. And, so they did. They had a well equipped gym and full length basketball court ready when he arrived.

As the shoot lasted between 7am and 6pm, he spent all the free time in between with his trainer. In addition, they also decided to invite top NBA players for pick up basketball with Michael Jordan every evening.

So, the summer leading up to the 1995-96 season involved starting the day at 7am, shooting till 6pm with training in the breaks and then ending the day with the equivalent of an NBA All Star game every evening between 6pm-10pm.

The Bulls went on to both win the title next season while also setting a regular season record of 72 wins out of 82.

I like to think of myself as someone who isn’t afraid of hard work. Good performance takes skill. And, developing skill tends to take time.

But, even with that mindset, I found this to be awe-inspiring.