Michael Jordan’s career accomplishments read like a massive novel. The Chicago Bulls legend did so much during his historic stint in the NBA, and massively changed the league and the sport of basketball for good. But perhaps his most impressive individual season would be his 1987-88 NBA season.
Jordan averaged 35 points per game during the 1987-88 season, but he wasn’t just a strong presence offensively. He played excellent defense during the season, coming up with solid defensive plays to help the Bulls. For his efforts, MJ was named the 1988 MVP and Defensive Player Of The Year.
Jordan is the only player in NBA history to win Defensive Player Of The Year while averaging 30 or more points per game. The only player that came close was his fellow 1984 Draft class member Hakeem Olajuwon, who averaged 26.1 points per game in 1993, and 27.3 points per game in 1994, both years where he won DPOY.
Jordan is one of only three NBA players to win MVP and Defensive Player Of The Year in the same season, along with Hakeem Olajuwon and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The fact that he was able to excel on both ends of the court and play at a level higher than everyone else is truly astonishing.
Jordan is also one of only three players in NBA history to lead the NBA in scoring while also making an All-Defensive team, doing it 9 times in his career. Because of how spectacular he was on the offensive end, his incredible defensive plays get forgotten when fans look back at his career.
Perhaps no player will achieve what Jordan did during the 1987-88 season, in terms of scoring and playing defense. The most recent player to win both MVP and DPOY in the same season was Giannis Antetokounmpo. But he did not lead the league in scoring like MJ.
After the 1987-88 season, Jordan signed an 8-year, $25 million contract, and was happy to re-sign with the Bulls, and was looking to take the next step in his career. His 1987-88 season was absolutely spectacular, one of the best individual seasons in NBA history.