Sibling Rivalry: Good or Bad? “Younger siblings often measure their places in the universe against the apparently unbreachable and permanent gap that separates them from their older, seemingly more talented and accomplished siblings. ” This quote from “Laney High” by David Halberstam describes something very common amongst children in a family: sibling rivalry. Although sibling rivalry is not always a good thing, for Michael it definitely was. If it was not for Larry, he would not be as successful as he is today. Larry provided Michael with dedication and competitiveness.
As a boy, Larry had the heart of a blue whale and the talent to match, but was simply “packaged in the wrong-sized body. ” Michael was lazy as a young boy and could have enjoyed doing other things besides playing basketball for hours on the small court their father, James Jordan, had made in the backyard. However, Larry refused for Michael to let his talent go to waste. Because of this new found dedication from his brother, Michael was able to handle a very hard situation in his life with perseverance instead of giving in.
When Michael Jordan did not make the varsity basketball team at Laney High his sophomore year, he went on to be a star on the jayvee team at the school. Larry pushed him when he was younger to work hard and Michael used this lesson to improve and make the varsity basketball team the next year. Also because of Larry’s pushing, Michael rose to be a star on that team as well. “He was as driven as ever, the hardest-working player on the team in practice. Without this hassle from Larry as a young boy, Michael would have never been able to work up to his potential and accomplish all that he did in his amazing career. Michael’s friends from junior high, high school and college all agree that Michael’s competitiveness derived from his rivalry with his older brother Larry. When Larry and Michael were young, Larry was the better athlete. Even though he was small, he was exceptionally strong. Michael Jordan’s love for basketball began when Larry would continuously beat him in one-on-one pick-up games.
It was even said that if Larry would’ve been taller than five foot seven inches, Michael would’ve been referred to as Larry’s brother, instead of how it is today. Finally late in their high school years, Michael began to grow and become stronger. This added to the rivalry amongst the two to a great extent. Although Michael was taller then, Larry was older, had better work ethic and was still extremely strong. To this day, Michael credits Larry for his aggressive style of play stating, “When you see me play, you see Larry play. Every successful athlete has some type of motivation behind their drive. Although it may not always be credited to a person, Michael’s was definitely his older brother Larry. James Jordan said that until Larry changed Michael he would tell Michael he better hope he became a professional athlete because he was too lazy to do anything else. In the case of Larry and Michael Jordan, their sibling rivalry turned out to be very beneficial to Michael Jordan and his success as a professional athlete.