“Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work.”
He wasn’t the biggest. He wasn’t the fastest. Others could outjump him, but NO ONE outhustled His Airness. That’s how he unlocked his abilities and is in the debate for GOAT.
We all know that person that was gifted freakish talent. Maybe they have perfect pitch, or a proclivity with numbers, or a wicked wit. Maybe they have great beauty or are just naturally blessed as an athlete. We all know many people like this, who lack work ethic because it is so easy and they become good but never great, because they don’t work at it.
They write one hit song or book.
They have a great NCAA Tournament and disappear.
They are the top-rated kid at 14 but by 17 are no longer blue-chip recruits because of lack of commitment.
They hit one big deal early and it makes them think the business is easy and with a year and a half they are gone, like so many before them.
But the person that learns to love the grind, whose goal is constantly pushing and improving themselves, that is the one who might not come into the league with great fanfare but will hear more than their share of cheers over the years. They go from unheralded no name to fan favorite because their lack of pedigree is more than compensated for by drive and dedication.
The gym rat that loves the game and puts in the reps. Those are the ones fans ultimately love and remember, because hard work is worth more than talent.