Michael Jordan played in two of the greatest basketball eras in NBA history and left his mark on the game through his will and attempt to win every game he ever played. If you did not know already, MJ has a competitive drive that is not comparable to any human being. I am talking about a guy that made it to the greatest honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame and still dwelled upon not being able to play.
No one likes losing but there are guys out there who hate losing more than others. I personally hate losing to my brothers in anything; it is just the competitive drive in me. After losing a basketball game when I was younger, my brother told me I had Michael Jordan Syndrome.
To define that term… it is a rare disease that only a few athletes in the world attract. “MJS” is a serious syndrome that only relates to one thing: winning. There is no need for any scientific reasoning to understand some suffer from the rarity, such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. These are the guys that do whatever it takes to win games and losing at any cost is not an option.
Here the 10 players that suffers from the “Michael Jordan Syndrome”. Note: while it is similar, this is not the most competitive players in the NBA ranking.
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10. Kemba Walker – Charlotte Bobcats
It is only right to start this list with one of MJ’s own products. As Al Jefferson was plagued with a plantar fascia injury, Kemba did everything he could against the Miami Heat in this year’s first round of the playoffs. He showed glimpses of what he did at UConn with putting the team on his back. Walker was the Bobcats only option on offense with Jefferson hurt, and with being a handful for Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, Erik Spoelstra sent double-teams and LeBron James to cover him.
In the final game, Kemba put up a solid stat-line with 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting (four threes), five rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks. The Bobcats lost the series but in his first playoff series as a pro, Kemba held his own and received rave reviews around the league.
The next step for Walker, who is only 23, is to reach the elite plateau in the point guard hierarchy. Kemba is a natural born leader and his mental approach in games is incredibly unique. He is on attack mode relentlessly and is one of those guys that you want on your team to go to war with. MJ has spoken glowingly about Kemba and sees a lot of him in him, as they both play(ed) with an extreme determination.
9. Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors
Back in 2012, the Raptors pulled off a huge gamble when they traded away a first-round pick to make Kyle Lowry their starting point guard. Lowry was always known for his gritty play and his ability to make plays for himself but for years, he battled his own teammates in both Memphis and Houston. In his seventh year, he has certainly found a home in Toronto and is finally showcasing elite play. Lowry has become the unquestionable leader for the Raptors this season and is one of the main reasons why the team is pushing to go really far in this year’s playoffs.
After Rudy Gay was traded, the Raptors took off in the Eastern Conference, winning the Atlantic Division and becoming one of the best stories of the year. Under Dwane Casey, Lowry has grown into a star even after an All-Star snub, and is averaging his best career numbers with 17.9 points and 7.4 assists per game. Lowry has even led the emergence of wings DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross this season. He is as tough as they get and his tenacity on defense has caused havoc all season for rival guards.
Lowry’s competitive edge is what lands him on this list, as he stands only 6-0 feet tall but has the will to take on anyone who guards him. Raptors Gm Masai Ujiri has a big decision to make this summer when Lowry is a free agent.