In celebration of Michael Jordan's birthday, it would be wise to look back on the greatness of one of the most dominant athletes in American history. Michael Jordan is constantly the standard for all great NBA players and that will likely never change.
Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest and most competitive basketball player to have ever lived, and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that there is simply no comparison. To make it clear to the viewing public, here are the 5 reasons why Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time.
5. Air Jordan Had An Inhuman 11-Year Run In NBA History
MJ was the best scorer, best overall player, and the most consistent superstar over an incredible 11-year run. He captured 6 NBA titles during that period and even made 11 straight All-Star Teams during that span. Jordan also won 5 MVP Awards and 10 scoring titles, meaning he was the single greatest scorer over a decade and the most valuable player. Jordan could have legitimately won the MVP 10 times as well, but it wouldn't be fair to give one man the MVP Award every single year.
Jordan's scoring over this decade and a year included a ridiculous record of 165 40-point games, 32 50-point games, and 5 separate 60-point games. MJ was just unstoppable offensively. But he also did it on defense, making 9 All-Defensive Teams as well. No player in history possessed a killer instinct like Mike, and he showed it during his 11-year span.
4. Dominance On Both Ends Of The Floor
Piggybacking on Jordan's incredible career, perhaps no player in NBA history achieved what Michael Jordan did on both ends of the floor. Jordan's career scoring average stands at 30.1 PPG, the single greatest average in history. Second place is Wilt Chamberlain at 30.0 PPG, followed by Elgin Baylor at 27.3 PPG. The fact that Jordan has a whopping 10 scoring titles and the highest scoring average in history is evidence he's the best offensive player ever.
Jordan also did it at the highest level at defense. Jordan made 9 All-Defensive Teams over his career, winning the Defensive Player of the Year, and leading the league in steals 3 times. Jordan has career averages of 2.3 SPG and 0.8 BPG, which are great numbers for a scoring guard. Jordan dominated both ends of the floor better than any guard ever, and it isn't close.
3. Michael Jordan Was An Obsessed Winner And Competitor
When seeing each superstar dominate the game of basketball, there are only a select few who truly dominated their era at the highest level. The likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James have all stood out for their dominance in the league. But Michael Jordan had the highest level of competitiveness known to man.
When watching Jordan play, it was immediately evident who the most dominant player in the game was. By his rookie season, many were already claiming Jordan to be the best ever. He was not only extremely athletic but was a student of the game. He hardly made mistakes on defense, knew when to shoot or pass, and came through in big moments. Jordan was the ultimate competitor, and even his own teammates fell wrath to Jordan's insane competitiveness (hint: Steve Kerr). Players feared him, and fans wanted to be him. Everyone wanted to be "like Mike", and there is a reason for that.
2. Michael Jordan Has The Most Accolades In NBA History
It is hard to argue who is the GOAT with simply the eye test. The eye test is a very good indicator of a player's greatness, but it can be skewed by bias. That is why stats need to come into play, especially individual and team accolades of a certain player. But even when looking at stats and accolades, Jordan is by far the greatest to have ever done it.
Michael Jordan has the most accolades in NBA history, with 18 major accolades to his name. 6 NBA championships, 6 Finals MVPs, 5 MVPs, and 1 Defensive Player of the Year Award means Air Jordan has 18 major accolades. And that doesn't even include his 10 scoring titles, which would take him to 28 accolades and counting. The second greatest player in terms of major accolades is Bill Russell (thanks to his 11 rings and 5 MVPs), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who has 14 major accolades.
1. 6-0 In The NBA Finals With 6 Finals MVPs
Without a doubt, the fact that places Michael Jordan above all other players is his perfect NBA Finals record. There is something about 6-0 that looks so pretty, especially when he dominated to win 6 Finals MVPs in 2 different 3-peats. It is extremely hard to imagine any player in today's NBA who can manage to be the leader of 2 separate 3-peats and go perfect in the Finals. It just doesn't happen.
Michael Jordan usurps the likes of LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and even Bill Russell because of his amazing Finals dominance. While LeBron has 4 rings, he has a losing Finals record and even had a chance to play on multiple superteams. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 6 rings, but he wasn't the best player for all of them and only has 2 Finals MVPs.
Bill Russell won an incredible 11 rings, but he played on the most stacked team in NBA history and wasn't necessarily the most talented player on his team. Jordan is the GOAT and there really shouldn't be any discussion about that.