Stats are the craze in this basketball era where teams and players parse out the numbers through analytics. Back in the day, players and coaches only looked at the basic statistical categories to see how they fared. Michael Jordan, regarded as the greatest of all time, interestingly did not necessarily look at his basic stat line. According to his longtime trainer Tim Grover, Jordan wanted to see the things he's "not supposed to do."
The things I'm not supposed to do
Grover related what Jordan was like when they first started. The legendary trainer gave his top client the stat sheet so that he'll see how he performed. According to Grover, Jordan wasn't keen on looking at the traditional numbers. Instead, Jordan only wanted to see three specific statistical categories.
"MJ was like, 'Never bring me the stat sheet again. The only stat sheet I want to see is how many turnovers I had, how many free throws I missed, how many fouls I had.' He goes, 'I'm supposed to score points, I'm supposed to make my teammates better, I'm supposed to get assists, I'm supposed to rebound, I'm supposed to get to the free throw line, I'm supposed to play defense,'" Grover said.
'[Show me] things I'm not supposed to do. I'm not supposed to miss free throws, I'm not supposed to commit careless turnovers, I'm not supposed to commit stupid fouls. Those are the things that I need to consistently get better at every single day,'" Grover added.
If you're a diehard Jordan fan who knows the GOAT's thinking process, you won't be surprised by Grover's story. This is the reason Jordan is the greatest. He did things that other players didn't even think of.
Grover's story somewhat contrasts with other Jordan narratives we've heard before. We've heard the times when Jordan told his defender that he'll drop 50 on his head and actually do it. This seemingly shows that MJ was hungry to pad his scoring stats more than anything.
But the reality is, according to Grover, Jordan talks trash not to piss his opponent off. But rather, to motivate himself. Since Jordan had already said he'll drop 50, he had no choice but to do it. So all Jordan did was set the bar for himself as high as possible. In those nights where Jordan put on a scoring showcase en route to a win, better believe that he wasn't happy if he committed a ton of turnovers or silly fouls.