We’re once again caught up in the Michael Jordan-mania, as his epic documentary ‘The Last Dance’ is set to premiere this Sunday and it’ll give us all a chance to reminiscence the incredible career of the greatest player of all time.
Obviously, there’s always been a debate about whether Jordan is actually the GOAT or if he could’ve thrived in today’s basketball. The answer to both questions is yes, and young fans will come to the same conclusion after they see the footage.
But, where would he play if he were in the league right now? We know he would’ve teamed up with Scottie Pippen anyway, as they became the most dominating duo in NBA history. But which team would be better suited for his talents?
Jordan’s competitive mindset would prevent him from joining a Superteam. The only chance he’d join a historic franchise if to get them out of their recent struggles, but he would never join a team like the Knicks or the Jazz, both longtime rivals. So, just for fun, let’s talk about where he and Pippen could team up in today’s NBA.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the winningest franchises of the past two decades, but their years of glory are now behind them with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker retired, plus Kawhi Leonard leaving them a couple of seasons ago.
Gregg Popovich isn’t a fan of modern basketball. He doesn’t enjoy the pace-and-space, three-point shooting era. He craves defense, ball movement, and has thrived with mid-range scorers throughout his entire career. Needless to say, Jordan and Pippen check all of those boxes, and Popovich is the kind of tough-love kind of motivator that could bring the fire out of them by pushing them towards the edge.
Pippen would dominate today as Kawhi does. He’s an underrated shooter and scorer but his skills are quite similar in both ends of the court. Jordan is the greatest mid-range scorer of all time, so Popovich would do wonders with him in the offensive end.
Also, Jordan would love to have the chance to compete against stacked Western Conference teams like the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers. Beating LeBron James in the playoffs? Yes, please.
Well, the Hornets were a historically competitive underdog, so Pippen and Jordan could choose to play for them out of pure nostalgia and the desire to take a struggling team all the way to the top of the world.
Also, Jordan is a North Carolina hero and the current owner of the franchise. He hasn’t done exactly a great job putting together a competitive team, so he might as well take matters into his own hands and lead the Hornets to an NBA Championship.
Pippen and Jordan both thrived in adversity. They delivered when it mattered the most. No excuses, they just got the job done. Playing in Charlotte, they would have to do it all, especially with that many young players around them.
Jordan would be tough as hell with the Hornets’ prospects. He would shape them up into competitive beasts or would force them to join another team, it’s as simple as that. Also, they would put all of their doubters at ease by winning a ring with that supporting cast.
Obviously, there wouldn’t be a better place to go than the Chicago Bulls. Jordan and Pippen built the United Center, they made them a historic franchise, they turned the Bulls into one of the strongest markets in the world.
The Bulls have struggled for years but there will always be that mysticism about them and that’s all thanks to Jordan and Pippen, so it would make the most sense for them to end up on the very same team they played together for over a decade.
Jordan and Pippen put together a remarkable legacy in the Windy City. They stopped some of the greatest players in the history of the game from even making an NBA Finals appearances. Nobody ate when they were looming around.
So, even though the Eastern Conference isn’t as tough as it used to be back in the day, Jordan and Pippen would embrace the challenge of taking that franchise back from the ground and beating LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard in the NBA Finals over and over, as they did with Barkley and Malone.