Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Michael Jordan knows everything

Does Michael Jordan know everything? His airness, the greatest basketball player ever, must know everything about basketball. Right? How could he not?

I just read an interesting article on Truehoop about an interview with Jerry Krause. He talked about how a lot of his decisions didn't jibe with MJ. His decision to trade Charles Oakley and acquire Bill Cartwright, amongst them.

And how MJ's view tends to become everyone's view, simply because he is the best and most aggressive player we've ever seen. But there are some interesting things to note.

MJ, as a basketball player, was unparalleled. But how much does he actually know about 5winning5 games rather than simply playing as hard as he can? A measure of his personnel prowess can be seen in how he has done as a GM. This gives us a rare opportunity to measure his basketball skills against those of his peers (scoring titles, MVPs, league titles) and his personnel knowledge against other GMs (drafting Kwame Brown, Charlotte Bobcats suck, etc).

There is a simple conclusion: MJ suffers from a cognitive bias, just like all of us. He assumes because he played the best that he also perceives the best. Simply having the best athleticism, highest jump, and best shots of his peers makes him feel like he knows everthing about basketball.

But being the best GM doesn't really require any of those skills. Its an intersting thought that MJ might be totally incompetent as a GM. He disagreed with the moves that made him a champion as a player and as a GM is most notable for drafting Kwame Brown.

Case closed.

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