The LAFC star says he was inspired while watching the 10-part series on the Chicago Bulls
Like virtually every sports fan across America and the world, Carlos Vela developed a Sunday routine over the last five weeks.
For the first time since Game of Thrones went off the air in summer 2019, the U.S. was united by a true television phenomenon: The Last Dance. The documentary, a 10-part event broadcast over five weeks, followed Michael Jordan's rise to his place as the most revered basketball player of all time while focusing on his final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98.
With American sports suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Last Dance became a phenomenon. The series of episodes offered deep dives into one of the greatest athletes and one of the greatest teams of all time, filling everyone's Sunday with larger-than-life stories about Jordan and his six NBA titles.
Vela, a massive basketball fan, was instantly hooked.
"Of course. Every Sunday I was there," Vela told Goal. "My wife wasn't happy. But I said, 'these two hours, these are for me'."
The Los Angeles FC star has long been a fan of the NBA. In the past, Vela has stated that he actually prefers basketball to soccer and, in his free time, he chooses to spend his moments away from his own sport by following the NBA.
Vela recently uploaded a video of him, in full Los Angeles Lakers gear, dunking on his own hoop while the Mexicointernational also expressed excitement at starring alongside James Harden in a new ad for sports drink BODYARMOR.
Over the last five weeks, Vela, like the rest of the country, was offered an insight into Jordan's mindset as a leader, for better or worse. The series detailed the famous grudges and perceived slights that fueled his career. It discussed Jordan's gambling, or as he calls it "competition", problems.
Most poignantly, the series revealed Jordan's leadership style, which often pushed teammates to their limit physically and mentally. At the end of the seventh episode, an emotional Jordan reflected on criticisms of how far he pushed those that played alongside him before tearfully calling for a break in the interview.
"When people see this they are going say, 'Well he wasn't really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant'.Well, that's you. Because you never won anything," Jordan said.
"I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win to be a part of that as well. Look, I don't have to do this. I am only doing it because it is who I am. That's how I played the game. That was my mentality. If you don't want to play that way, don't play that way."
Throughout his career, Vela has played with a number of big players. And, having watched Jordan's leadership style and his ability to push teammates further than they thought they could be pushed, the Mexican star says he was reminded of former Arsenal star Thierry Henry.
Henry and Vela never took the field together at Arsenal, as Vela was loaned out throughout his early years with the club due to a work permit issue. But Velasays Henry's leadership still stood out, giving him a Jordan-like presence.
"Thierry Henry was a really hard guy," he said. "He tried every day to be the best and he pushed the young guys to work more, to be professional, to try to bring everything to every training.
"He would say, 'if you train hard, you can play hard'. Thierry Henry was an inspiration to me and you can see the career he had. I'm proud to have said I can play with him. He's a good leader."
Vela's personality, meanwhile, is a bit more laid back, but he's still found plenty of success since making the move to MLS ahead of LAFC's expansion season.
The winger smashed MLS records last season by scoring 34 goals in 31 matches, helping guide LAFC to a Supporters' Shield and an MLS record for points in a season.
But, as he looks to add an MLS Cup to his resume, Vela says he learned a lotfrom watching Jordan's rise to NBA immortality.
"I wasn't surprised. You are not there to see it day by day, but when you see what Michael Jordan did, you feel something special, something different than the rest," he said.
"I feel like I have a lot of things to learn from Michael Jordan to try and be the best. I take it as motivation. Maybe I have to be more hard, do more things to help my teammates to be better so we can win more championships."
Read this article:
- The Old Guard's New Trailer Dives Into the Painful Side of Immortality - Gizmodo UK - July 6th, 2020
- Charlize Theron in The Old Guard on Netflix: Film Review - Variety - July 6th, 2020
- Doctor Who Theory: How Rassilon Fits Into The Timeless Child Retcon - Screen Rant - July 6th, 2020
- Its Negligence: Young People Hosting Coronavirus Parties, Betting On Who Gets Infected First - CBS Pittsburgh - July 6th, 2020
- Through a Blur of Migratory Birds, Photographer Sankar Sridhar Captures the Rituals of the Yamuna River - Colossal - July 6th, 2020
- Carli Lloyd: I Want Young Players To Be Inspired By My Journey - Forbes - July 6th, 2020
- Altered Carbon Season 3 : Release Date, Cast, Plot And Other News - Auto Freak - July 6th, 2020
- Madhya Pradeshs new cabinet shows that a slow Congressisation of the BJP is happening - ThePrint - July 6th, 2020
- Batman Beyond Just Brought The Future [SPOILER] Back To Life - Screen Rant - July 6th, 2020
- A battle to defend the soul of football: How Spain achieved immortality at the 2010 World Cup - The Independent - June 17th, 2020
- Dream Team missed date with immortality - The Herald - June 17th, 2020
- Virtual U.S. Open: Palmer, Boros and other challengers - Pro Golf Now - June 17th, 2020
- Health benefits of giloy juice and easy kadha recipes - Times of India - June 17th, 2020
- Where do you want Liverpool to win Premier League title and what do you predict will happen? - Liverpool Echo - June 17th, 2020
- Stephen King Has a Friday the 13th Book He Wants to Write About Jason Voorhees - MovieWeb - June 17th, 2020
- Star Wars Just Wiped Darth Plagueis Backstory From Continuity - We Got This Covered - June 17th, 2020
- Bravery in service of the US | Keizertimes | You think you know. To be sure, read Keizertimes. - Keizertimes - June 17th, 2020
- The Afterlife of George Floyd: A Portfolio by Photographer Eli Reed - The Cut - June 17th, 2020
- American Horror Story: Every Character Who Became The Supreme - Screen Rant - June 17th, 2020
- Why is the 2000s the PBA's forgotten decade? - ESPN - June 17th, 2020
- Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Season 2 What Is The Status Of Renewal? And Is It Cancelled? - Pop Culture Times - June 17th, 2020
- Bihar will get nothing from personal attack on me, focus on real issues: Tejashwi tells BJP, Nitish - Outlook India - June 13th, 2020
- Judd Apatow Tells How the Wallflowers One Headlight Came to Illuminate King of Staten Island: Its Personal - Variety - June 13th, 2020
- NOS4A2 Viewing Guide: What You Need to Know Going into Season 2 - Anglophenia - June 13th, 2020
- How racism revealed the fragility of an entire sport - Majorca Daily Bulletin - June 13th, 2020
- Book World: Those who built the bomb, those who used it and those who survived it - Alton Telegraph - June 13th, 2020
- Bahrain king pardons 16 jailed OFWs; 11 deported to PH - UNTV News - UNTV News - June 13th, 2020
- Netflix Said No to Streaming Tommy Wiseau's The Room - MovieWeb - June 13th, 2020
- Dinosaur toys and golf clubs: the strange things astronauts take to the moon - The Guardian - June 13th, 2020
- Copa America: Will 12-month delay enhance Messi and Argentina's chances of glory? - Yahoo! Voices - June 13th, 2020
- 10 Inspirational Quotes by Swami Vivekananda For a Life of Freedom And Tranquility - India.com - June 13th, 2020
- Does Thanos Have Superpowers (WITHOUT Infinity Stones)? - Screen Rant - June 13th, 2020
- Kansas City Chiefs Who Could Be Future Hall of Famers (Part 2) - Chiefs Digest - June 13th, 2020
- The Eternals When Can We Expect It In Theatres? What Leaks Are Coming And What Are New Updates? - Pop Culture Times - June 13th, 2020
- What Does It Mean to Tear Down a Statue? - The New York Times - June 13th, 2020
- Less than zero: how Pointlesss tweaked finale made fools of us all - The Guardian - May 25th, 2020
- Erling Braut Haaland is Robert Lewandowski's heir apparent we have been waiting for - The National - May 25th, 2020
- A zombie apocalypse, a surprise hook-up, and brutal deaths in the latest Legends of Tomorrow - SYFY WIRE - May 25th, 2020
- Star Wars Confirms DEATH Affects Sith and Jedi the Same - in One KEY Way - CBR - Comic Book Resources - May 25th, 2020
- They fought and died, and we remember - The Register-Guard - May 24th, 2020
- Grafite: The Tale of One of the Bundesliga's Greatest Ever One-Season Wonders - 90min - May 24th, 2020
- The last days of history - Part 13Sunday Magazine - Guardian - May 24th, 2020
- Elliott Mortuary to host events in Madisonville | Local News - The Messenger - May 24th, 2020
- Read this before you watch The Old Guard - Looper - May 24th, 2020
- 10 New Switch Titles Releasing This Week - SwitchWatch - May 24th, 2020
- From the archives: CSM wins first Nor Cal title - San Mateo Daily Journal - May 24th, 2020
- David Charters: Grumbling oil boiler offers thoughts of immortality - Liverpool Echo - April 11th, 2020
- Hope Is an Important Part of Judaism | Bob Ryan - The Times of Israel - April 11th, 2020
- Teen paperboy with vampire obsession ripped elderly woman's heart out and drank her blood to be immortal - MEAWW - April 11th, 2020
- Lactomeda: the future of humanity | Science - The Union Journal - April 11th, 2020
- Westworld Season 3 Has Almost the Same Plot as Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Mary Sue - April 11th, 2020
- 21st Century Westerns: The Alamo - Cowboys and Indians - April 11th, 2020
- Last Witch Hunter 2: Vin Diesel Hints Script Is Being Worked On Now - Screen Rant - April 11th, 2020
- Remembering two members of the Marin music community - Marin Independent Journal - April 11th, 2020
- The Nike Adidas Puma Olympic Battle Will Have to Wait - Barron's - March 26th, 2020
- Christ Provides the Antidote to Fear Amid Coronavirus - National Catholic Register - March 26th, 2020
- The Vampire Diaries: The 10 Most Hated Storylines | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - March 26th, 2020
- Today's Gospel in Art - The Annunciation of the Lord - Independent Catholic News - March 26th, 2020
- Doctor Who: The Top 10 Tenth Doctor Episodes, Ranked According to IMDb - Screen Rant - March 26th, 2020
- 48 SECONDS FROM IMMORTALITY: The story of the 1990 Concord Minutemen - Goshen News - March 24th, 2020
- Ginkgo: The Tree of Immortality | NCPR News - North Country Public Radio - March 24th, 2020
- Boost your spirits with fun rom-coms - Boston Herald - March 24th, 2020
- Alex Salmond: from the brink of independence to a court room - FRANCE 24 - March 24th, 2020
- With only 4k miles, this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD will outlive us all - Autoblog - March 24th, 2020
- We're as lonely as a cloud but the Romance isn't dead - The Guardian - March 24th, 2020
- How Altered Carbon: Resleeved Connects to Season 2 | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 24th, 2020
- In Times of Crisis, We Need To Inject Reason into Debates over Faith - The Libertarian Republic - March 24th, 2020
- Neutralize COVID-19 hysteria with faith and kindness toward neighbors - Washington Times - March 24th, 2020
- '80s Movie Quotes Every Kid From the '80s Knows By Heart - Best Life - March 24th, 2020
- Questioning the Shutdown | RR Reno - First Things - March 24th, 2020
- Liberty shackled and the future blighted: RIP Europe, 312 - 2020 - The Conservative Woman - March 24th, 2020
- Westworld series refresher, what you need to know before season 3 - Show Snob - March 24th, 2020
- Immortality by 2050: Humans very close to everlasting life - February 27th, 2020
- Sports Perseverance leads Tres Tinkle to cusp of Oregon State immortality Kyle Hansen 9:38 AM - KPAX-TV - February 27th, 2020
- Syracuse basketball has clinched immortality for the 2nd straight season - Inside the Loud House - February 27th, 2020
- Why Dodgers' Great Willie Davis Received a Grand Total of Zero Hall of Fame Votes - Sports Illustrated - February 27th, 2020
- Everything You Need to Know to Watch 'Altered Carbon' Season 2 on Netflix - Newsweek - February 27th, 2020
- Local News Mom spreads kindness to honor her young son who died in 2018 KMTV Staff - KMTV - 3 News Now - February 27th, 2020
- Alfred Jarry at the Morgan Library - Apollo Magazine - February 27th, 2020
- Features | Strange World Of... | The Strange World Of... Tom Smith/ To Live And Shave In LA - The Quietus - February 27th, 2020