The day before the New York Yankees celebrate "Derek Jeter Day" and retire the No. 2 jersey worn by the man known by many as "The Captain," Michael Jordan penned a brief letter on The Players’ Tribune titled "Legacy."
Jordan started off his message by putting his spin on some traditional sports platitudes. "A legacy is built by more than what is seen," he wrote. "It is not given, it is earned." This line was a pretty tame approach, especially coming from the guy that brought you the infamous phrase, "The ceiling is the roof." MJ also acknowledged the defining factor that separated Jeter from the pack. "Beyond your 20 years in the Majors and an endless list of accolades, it was your love and respect for the game that set you apart," Jordan wrote.
In his own letter to New York, Jeter said that the "keep your nose to the grindstone" philosophy was prevalent throughout his Yankees career. "And throughout 20 years in pinstripes, I learned that despite the pace and the pressure, one code truly makes this city go: Get up each day, put on your uniform, go to work, do your best, and don’t make excuses," he wrote.
Much like himself, Jordan saw that Jeets' "pursuit of greatness" extended beyond the diamond and impacted everyone around him. "Your pursuit of greatness on and off the field has set the standard for others to follow," Jordan wrote.
With Jeter set to take his place among the likes of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Lou Gehrig at Monument Park in Yankee Stadium, Jordan believes his friend has cemented his legacy because greatness recognizes greatness. Go here to read his entire letter.