Tag Archives: Sports

How the Bulls Dominated the NBA

Michael Jordan plays basketball better than anyone else in the world does anything else.

Scott Turow, quoted in Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made

The Chicago Bulls dominated their league like no other team in no other sport during the 1990’s. They won 6 NBA championships, an astounding record. 

I just finished reading the outstanding book Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made. It’s an insightful look into what made Jordan and his Bulls so special. 

Here are some of their secrets:

1) Hard work. Jordan came to practice before anyone and left last. This got him from being rejected for the high school varsity to dominating the pros. 

2) Coachability. Anyone who coached Jordan, even in baseball, said he was unusually coachable. His willingness to learn from others, rather than think he knew everything, set him apart. 

Consider that for a player of his stature, it would be easy to dismiss a coach’s suggestion! But he didn’t. 

Even the quirky Dennis Rodman listened carefully to coach Phil Jackson’s lessons.

3) Love of the game. Both Jordan and Scottie Pippen stood out for truly loving basketball. 

Jordan even had a highly unusual clause in his contract. He could stop at any basketball court in the world, any time, and play a pickup game.

And he did so, frequently! I like imagining Jordan pulling up at a playground in a fancy car, lacing up his sneakers, and heading out onto the court.

I just wouldn’t want to have to guard him!

This type of clause is highly unusual due to the risk of injury, but Jordan insisted on it.

It’s hard to work at something so intensely for so many years if you don’t love it! And that’s what it takes to excel. 

4) Ability to see others strengths, not just their weaknesses.

Jackson was upset when Pippen refused to play at the end of the Eastern Conference Finals.  But he didn’t let that incident sour him on Scottie as a player.

Instead, he viewed it in the context of all of Scottie’s great work over the years.  Even the exacting Jordan became more aware of his teammates’ strengths over time.

This is an area I struggle with. If someone does one thing wrong, I tend to view them negatively, forgetting all their great work. 

I plan to take a lesson from Coach Jackson on this in the future! 

5) Never giving up. Jordan was famously cut by his high school team. 

Rodman didn’t even make the team at all. And Pippen started college basketball at a no-name school as the team equipment manager. 

These are not people you would think would’ve ever even made it to the NBA, much less won 6 championships. 

Their perseverance made the difference!

Check out this excellent book along with the addictive Netflix series The Last Dance. Even if you’re not a basketball fan, you can learn a lot from the Bulls about excellence in any field! 

More on leadership:

From Anticommunist to Navy SEAL: “I Owe Everything to America”

Jocko on Leadership: “Ownership Is the Most Valuable Compensation”

The Best Motivational Speech of 2021

Photo: “Michael Jordan” by simplistic.designs is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

AMC + UFC = Jackpot

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. just made a bold move to capture a huge new audience:

The value proposition here is obvious: why pay $70 when you can pay $25? But the implications for AMC are even bigger than they may appear.

UFC is growing at an incredible rate, dwarfing growth in any other major sport. 2020 was a banner year for the league:

“For us personally, it’s the best year we’ve ever had. Crazy to say that, but we broke just about every record we have, except for live gate, obviously,” White told TSN. “It was a very challenging year for us, to pull all this stuff off. It was without a doubt the hardest year of my career.

Viewers grew 30% on ESPN and the UFC’s YouTube and Instagram accounts are second only to the NBA in followers.

UFC not only brings an enormous new audience to AMC, it counters one of the biggest problems movie theaters have: strong seasonality in their business. The most anticipated movies are usually released in the summer, and the crowds swell. But in the colder months, major releases are fewer and attendance drops off.

Unlike the movie business or most professional sports, UFC is not seasonal. Major tournaments happen regularly throughout the year, and there is no off season.

Picture normally empty theaters packed with cheering fight fans in January, and then imagine the money printing machine in AMC’s headquarters spitting out hundreds. While the stock’s price is a little high for my taste at the moment, I have to applaud CEO Adam Aron’s leadership.

More on AMC:

AMC ON THE THRESHOLD LIST: STRONG EVIDENCE OF NAKED SHORT SELLING

AMC’S S-3 WITHDRAWAL: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

HEDGE FUND TORCHED BY AMC

Photo: “File:Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin UFC 115.jpg” by Bad intentionz is licensed under CC BY 3.0

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

DraftKings and Robinhood Are Both Growing Like Crazy. Here’s Why.

As Tom Brady bagged his seventh Super Bowl, I got to thinking about an interesting trend I was seeing. I was hearing more ads for DraftKings every day. At the same time, Robinhood is exploding in popularity and its army of small traders is moving markets. Were these two related?

DraftKings, an online sports betting app, is exploding in popularity. It’s revenue doubled in the last year, and its stock is on a tear:

The stock-trading app Robinhood is also growing at an incredible rate. It doubled its payment for order flow revenue, its main revenue source, in just a few months in 2020 as the lockdowns hit.

Robinhood gamifies investing in a way that can mimic online gambling, and much of the trading on the platform, including in stocks like Gamestop and AMC, seems to be speculative.

I think both trends come from a big increase in personal income due to stimulus and extra unemployment payments. Put that extra money into the hands of someone who is bored and has fewer other ways to spend, and you see big increases in gambling…err, “investing”.

With another large stimulus planned, I expect to see more of this in the future. I also wonder where else this extra cash will show up.

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Photo: “File:Tom Brady 2017.JPG” by Jeffrey Beall is licensed under CC BY 4.0