Multiple intelligences: Michael Jordan

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Introduction

To conclude nine or eight intelligences, Gardner might have investigated furiously and expansively. To refresh one’s mind, the known intelligence according to Gardner are; logical-mathematical intelligence, naturalist intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, linguistic intelligence, intra-personal intelligence, spatial intelligence, inter-personal intelligence and musical intelligence (Gardner, 12). Similarly, there is a new intelligence that was recognized which can be termed as spiritual intelligence, but Gardner did not approve of it at all based on his reduction and analyzing style. In his book, Gardner wrote, “review of the evidence on spirituality proved less straightforward,” of which he went on further to state that, “I do not believe that intelligence should be confounded with an individual’s phenomenological experience” (Gardner, 35).

These two statements meant that in his research and analyses, there were no enough evidence or fundamental constituents to classify spiritual feelings or behaviors as bits of intelligence. He was able to prove and illustrate that any ability that humans possessed was as a result of the intelligence he had put across. These intelligences were responsible for the numerous experts that have existed and continue to exist in the different fields in the world. As earlier explained, it means that doctors, authors, footballers and many other professionals can do what they do because of the specific or multiple bits of intelligence they are in possession of distinguishably. This he describes further on in the book whereby discusses “giftedness” and its prevailing conditions. Gardner does not believe in creativity but speaks of “prodigy” and “genius.” This paper will now go on to further explore the bits of intelligence of bodily-kinesthetic, spatial and logic-mathematical intelligence using Michael Jordan as an example. It will be able to illustrate how Jordan was able to fully utilize his intelligence and be able to reach and actualize his dreams and worldwide fame on the basketball court.

Michael Jordan

When it comes to achievements on the basketball court, few players can match up to Michael Jordan’s. The former United States basketball player used to play for the Chicago Bulls and was able to lead them to half a dozen NBA championships. Out of these six championships, he was able to be announced the most valuable player five times. Jordan was born on the 17th of February in the year 1963 (Biography.com). Apart from being a professional basketball player, Jordan is also an Olympic athlete, an actor and a businessman. As aforementioned, his leading the Bulls to six championships and earning the most valuable player title six times have led to him being dubbed as the most decorated player in the history of the National Basketball Association (Biography.com). Being 6 feet, 1 inch tall, Jordan was able to become a force not to be reckoned with on the basketball court. Regarding bits of intelligence, Jordan displayed bodily-kinesthetic, spatial and logic-mathematical.

Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence

According to the book titled, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” by Howard Gardner, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is the ability of a person to be able to present ideas and emotions, create products and solve problems by skillfully using his or her body. Suitable examples of people with this ability are actors, athletes, and dancers. Michael Jordan is an athlete and an actor, and from his career, one can depict how this intelligence was of absolute dominance in him. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence gave him the ability to be able to train hard to perform exemplary on the basketball court. Basketball being his most favorite sport, he was able to play and rise to become one of the best players of the game (37).

Spatial Intelligence

Gardner illustrated spatial intelligence as the ability of one being able to project a result or thinking using pictures. This intelligence is common for photographers and architectures. However, one can depict that Michael Jordan was in possession of the spatial intelligence. To score and make moves on the basketball court, Jordan had to be able to think in pictures regarding what will be the result of specific moves he made. This means he was able to foresee an outcome based on this ability (40).

Logical-mathematical Intelligence

This intelligence according to Gardner gave one the ability to think in a systematical, logical manner by being able to reason and calculate. This intelligence is common with scientists, accountants, and engineers but Michael Jordan also had this ability (Gardner,46). To use spatial intelligence as earlier illustrated in this paper, one also needs to be able to calculate and reason on what should be done to achieve the desired results. This entails reasoning on particular lines of thoughts as discussed by Gardner. According to the audio book titled, “MICHAEL JORDAN: The Life,” by Rolan Lazenby, basketball was a sport that needed one to thoroughly calculate every single move they were planning to make if they wanted it to be successful. Jordan always ensured that he made proper calculations and was thus able to score and maneuver his way through opponent teams’ players (0:23:32)

Conclusion

From the information discussed above, it is imperative to note that Michael Jordan’s success on the basketball court was entirely based on his abilities as illustrated by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Jordan was able to perfect his skills and make him the better player on the court. People who possess these bits of intelligence should ensure that they utilize and improve them to rise in their respective fields. Once used well, these abilities can assist one in making proper earnings that can sustain them and their loved ones for a long time.

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  1. Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books, 2011.
  2. Biography.com. Michael Jordan. Retrieved 3rd December, 2017 from https://www.biography.com/people/michael-jordan-9358066
  3. Lazenby, Rowland. MICHAEL JORDAN: The Life. New York: Hachette Audio US, 2014.
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