“I Admire Kobe Bryant, I Admire Michael Jordan, Guys Who Were Dominant For A Long, Long Time” | Nick Saban Relates To Sustained Excellence 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 04: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on before the SEC Championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The words Nick Saban and dominance go hand-in-hand. The head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide juggernaut has been dominating college football since his second season in Tuscaloosa. Saban has been so dominant during his tenure in Tuscaloosa that he’s won six national championships, while appearing in nine.

He’s also won eight SEC championships. Prior to his arrival, the Crimson Tide never had a Heisman Trophy winner. He’s coached four (Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, DeVonta Smith and Bryce Young). Boasting a record of 183-25, Saban knows what it means to dominate. That’s why he can identify with former players who dominated for long periods, like Michael Jordan and the late, great Kobe Bryant.

 

Saban mentioned the two legendary hoopers this week during his inaugural Nick Saban Legacy Award banquet.

“I admire Kobe Bryant, I admire Michael Jordan — guys who dominate for a long, long time — and they did it on a very consistent basis. Because some people can be dominant for a little while, but it takes a special someone, because it’s really not human nature to try to be the best you can be. It’s human nature to survive. I really admire great competitors, and I really admire people who are able to sustain success, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in sports or whether it’s in music. It doesn’t matter.”

That quote by Saban is one of the main reasons he’s been so successful: He never rests on his laurels. Always striving to be great, and he demands that from every player that steps on the Alabama campus.

 

Saban Dominance Has Reached Mythical Heights: Mike And Kobe Did Their Thing

Since Saban was hired in 2007, the Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 in every season except his first. Thats remarkable, considering from 2007 to 2009 he was still using players from the previous regime.

Just as Saban is the face of CFB, Jordan and Kobe were the face of the NBA at different points in their careers. Each carried the NBA for years while winning a combined 11 championships and other numerous accolades. But what made them so appealing was how they never cheated the game or took shortcuts. They didn’t just fill up the box score on offense, they also defended at the highest of levels. And we all know Saban loves great defense.

The Spread Offense, Transfer Portal, And NIL Haven’t Slowed The Alabama Train

In 2013-2014, the spread offense became a real thing in hopes of slowing down the Crimson Tide, who’d won three of the previous four championships. After one season of adjustments, Saban caught on and has played for six titles since, winning three.

The last couple years it’s been the transfer portal and NIL deals, which Saban warned college football about last year. Alabama has benefited greatly from both, and when you add in their annual top two to three recruiting classes, the dominance just continues. This is what college football asked for, and you know the old saying: “The rich get richer.”