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Nick Saban Names 2 Star Athletes He Really Admires

Alabama head coach Nick Saban arriving to a football stadium.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the best in the world at what he does, but that doesn't mean there aren't people in other fields he draws inspiration from.

Prior to last night's Nick Saban Legacy Award ceremony in Birmingham, Saban was asked to name people he admires. Not surprisingly, he chose some pretty high achievers.

Anybody in any profession who has had a tremendous amount of success, I have an admiration for that because I know how difficult it is,” Saban said, via He then went on to cite several musicians, including Elton John, the Eagles, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones.

As for people in the field of athletics, Saban went with a pair of NBA legends.

“I admire Kobe Bryant. I admire Michael Jordan — guys who were dominant 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 not really human nature to try to be the best you can be. It’s human nature to survive.”

Saban actually invited both Bryant and Jordan to speak to his team before preseason camp. Bryant visited Tuscaloosa in 2018, two years before his passing, and Jordan spoke with the Crimson Tide via Zoom before the 2020 season.

“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," Saban said. "It doesn’t matter.”

Considering how much Saban has accomplished as a head coach, it makes sense that he would look up to others who are at the top of their fields. There's no room for mediocrity when you've won seven national championships.