The aura around Michael Jordan still persists to this day. Despite not having played in the NBA for almost 20 years, fans are still mesmerized by the Chicago Bulls icon and the impact he had on the game. Jordan was a beast during his career, having great success throughout his long career.
MJ was an anomaly, as he was a great two-way player despite being on the smaller size. He was only 6'6, during a time when the NBA had some of the largest players taking part in the league.
Jordan was even able to win MVP and Defensive Player Of The Year in the same season, becoming one of the few players in history to do that. Many fans and analysts heralded 'Air Jordan' as one of the best two-way players in history.
But how was he able to do what he did on the court? According to Mike, it was the size of his hands. MJ did an interview with Gene Siskel, where he explained how important his hands were to his game.
Jordan showed that his thumb and index finger had a huge gap, which allows him to control the ball better. He then compared himself to Dr. J, who also had a similar control on the ball.
"Well, I have a wide thumb, away from my finger which gives me the grip for grabbing the ball and being able to move the ball. That’s like having a paintbrush and being able to create. If you can move the ball and move your instrument, to the extent that it’s pretty different in this game. Dr. J did this. If you’ve ever noticed Dr. J’s hands, his thumb is so far away from his index finger, which gives him a better grip and a wider span so that he can pick up the ball off the dribble and do anything he wants with it… I can sense a good shot and a bad shot. If it comes off these three fingers (thumb, index, and middle fingers) I feel very good about the shot. If it comes off these two, (ring and little finger), then my mechanics got screwed up."
Even though Jordan was smaller in size, he was able to make a major impact on the offensive and defensive end of the court. MJ was explosive when taking the ball to the hole, but also brought similar intensity when he was on defense.