Ray Allen Defends Michael Jordan's Leadership Tactics: 'Don't Take It Personal'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

MILWAUKEE, WI - 1997: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket against Ray Allen #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the game on January 10, 1997 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Michael Jordan's intensity was a major topic of discussion following "The Last Dance," but former NBA star Ray Allen defended the Hall of Famer being hard on his teammates. 

Allen broke it down Monday on The Encore with Sage Steele (starts at 21:00):

Jordan @Jumpman23

Tune in now to watch The Encore, hosted by @SageSteele with this week's guests @SpikeLeeJoint and Ray Allen as they discuss the #TheLastDance finale. #JUMPMAN https://t.co/w2W0wL3QuD

"Once we go on the court, you know we're friends and I love you, but I need you to do your job," he said. "And if I get on your butt, don't take it personal. Don't get mad back at me because you can't handle what I'm saying to you."

Jordan was hard on his teammates throughout his career, although Allen noted that the leadership strategy worked: "The proof is in the pudding when you win six championships."

Jordan's intensity was discussed during an episode of "The Last Dance," and he got emotional while explaining his mindset: 

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

The end of Episode 7 ... WOW. #TheLastDance https://t.co/N3c5lN0mLI

Allen apparently felt the same way, and it led to his own measure of success with 10 All-Star selections and two titles during a Hall of Fame career. 

"This is what greatness is all about," he told Steele. "If you guys want to see this man and anybody at this level be extremely incredible and you want to watch them night in and night out, this is the commitment that it takes."

The 44-year-old said he wants young people to watch the documentary to understand the benefits of hard work.