Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever live after all the things he did with the Chicago Bulls in the 90s. MJ was really a bad man and he didn’t hesitate to find the tiniest reason to go after his opponents and humble them.
That earned him a lot of praise and it perfectly sums up how great he was. He never lost in the Finals and went 6-0 in the big series, having incredible performances with his Bulls, leaving a huge mark on the history of the game. Jordan’s success in the association was huge and almost unmatched, but one European coach believes he would have been just another regular player if he played in Europe instead of the NBA.
According to former NBA champion John Salley, international basketball coach Bozidar Maljkovic didn’t see Jordan as the rest of the people saw him, claiming that MJ would have only scored 16 PPG if he went to Europe. In Jeff Pearlman’s book “Three-Ring Circus: Kobe, Shaq, Phil, and the Crazy Years of the Lakers Dynasty,” Salley revealed how his former coach really felt about the Bulls legend.
“Salley tells that as soon as they were introduced, Maljkovic told him that Michael Jordan (with whom the power forward had just been champion) was ‘an ordinary player’ and that ‘in Europe, he would average 16 points per game.’ At that time, according to this book, Salley had it clear: ‘There I saw that it would last a short time there.’ It was, finally, seven weeks.”
That happened when MJ had won his fourth NBA title at the start of his second three-peat with the Bulls. As Salley said, those comments didn’t sit well with anybody and Maljkovic was jobless a couple of weeks later.
MJ went on to win two more titles with the Bulls before retiring from the game for the second time in his career. Jordan was incredible to watch and, regardless of how different things were in Europe compared to America, there was nothing that man couldn’t do. He’s widely regarded as the GOAT for more than one reason and, regardless of what Maljkovic said, MJ was and is a problem wherever he goes.