All the most celebrated players have that competitive attitude, the edge to go against anyone. Magic often tells the story how Jordan came in the Dream Team locker room, looked at Bird and him and told them “There’s a new sheriff in town.”
You have to have such a drive to succeed and push yourself every day to get to the top. Confidence is essential; you have to beat the best to be the bets. But, maybe still have some perspective and objectivity. For instance, don’t talk trash to the greatest player ever while you are still a high-school player.
O.J. Mayo was one of the biggest high-school stars in the last few decades. He drew so much attention that NBA stars such as Melo and LeBron would come to his games. He starred in a high school game that had 16.000 people in the stands. Yep, that was still in high-school. The fact that he was from Ohio didn’t help as the media immediately started to draw comparisons between him and LeBron. That can’t be good on a young man’s ego, right?
MJ was hosting a Flight School camp at USBC, and O.J. Mayo was in attendance. At the time, Mayo was touted to be one of the best prospects in the world, and he wanted to make his mark in the game.
A 5 on 5 was going on, and O.J. started talking trash to Michael. O.J. described the game, he had a few nice moves, and it got his confidence up so he started with a “you can’t guard me monologue” to Jordan. Now, as there were kids in the stands, Michael couldn’t lay into him as much as he wanted to.
Still, he pulled a few tricks out of his bag to show O.J. he went too far. Then, he sent the kids to sleep and called O.J. back on the court for a real showdown. No kids, just men, playing ball. You can imagine how it ended.