Competitive as he was, Michael Jordan never paid much attention to the stats and always focused on winning games and collecting titles with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan was constantly trying to destroy his opponents, taking things personally on his way to winning six championships in eight years during the 90s.
MJ posted incredible numbers during his career, but that was his nature, he never planned on recording impressive games but doing whatever it took to take his team to the win. In the process, he piled up a lot of records and accolades, but that wasn't the main goal for No. 23.
During an old interview, Mike revealed that he wasn't too interested in stat-padding, as he only wanted to win and nothing else. Instagram page Oldskoolbball recently shared a video of MJ talking about what drove him to be such a competitive player. Instead of the stats and individual accolades, he just wanted to win as much as possible.
He also explained that if he was stat chasing, he would have had a bigger chance to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's all-time scoring leader. Instead, he retired from 1993 through 1995, thinking of his well-being and what was best for his life.
"Well, that never drove me. Stats only add up. When you put in the effort, you don’t worry about it. Good things happen if people work hard. If I’d play for the stats, I’d never retire in 1993? Or I’d still be chasing all-time Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring lead. That doesn’t drive me. Sure, it defines to some extent for people who don’t know me. 20 years from now, we never know who Michael Jordan really is. But based on the stats, he must’ve been pretty decent. Those are the only ways that I look at stats. It’s all about winning championships and winning. The stats that matter to me is games that we win and rings that you collect.”
MJ had a different mentality. He was extremely competitive but also knew what was worth competing for. Nowadays, you see players staying on the court trying to bulk up their stat sheet even when the game is over. Jordan knew when it was enough and stopped pushing, but when he needed to give his maximum effort, His Airness didn't hesitate. That's why he's a 6x NBA champion and the greatest NBA player of all time.