Michael Jordan’s 11-year span is the reason that it is very hard to have any other player enter the GOAT debate. MJ is widely recognized as the greatest of all time, although there is always an ongoing debate for some other all-time greats including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, and Bill Russell among others. While each NBA legend among the top-10 ever might feel like they have a case for being the GOAT, Michael Jordan's case is simply too strong.
Over only 11 years, Michael Jordan has a host of simply extraordinary achievements. He won multiple championships, an incredible amount of individual achievements, and achieved what no other player has achieved. Here is the insane amount of accolades that Jordan collected in 11 years, and the reason why he is the only player that should be recognized in the GOAT debate.
- 6 NBA Titles
- 6 NBA Final MVP’s
- 5 NBA MVP’s
- 10 Scoring Titles
- 9 x All-Defense Teams
- Defensive Player of the Year Award
- 3 x Steals Leader
- 11 x All-Star Games
- 3 x All-Star MVP
- 60-Point Games: 5
- 50-Point Games: 32
- 40-Point Games: 165
Why Michael Jordan's 11-Year Span Makes Him The GOAT
Greatness is often measured by analyzing a player's peak and also the longevity of someone's career. For Michael Jordan, his peak was an unprecedented 11 years. This means that he was the undisputed best player in the universe for 11 straight years, and there could hardly be a debate about that. He captured 6 NBA titles and 6 Finals MVPs in that span, without ever playing in a Game 7 in the Finals. That is simply unheard of, as MJ was a winner of the highest order. No player in history possessed a killer instinct like Mike, and he showed it during his 11-year 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 the award is also narrative-based and doesn't always go to the best player. We have seen similar cases with Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James, as they were too good and too dominant and could have won it every year. Nonetheless, Jordan won 5 MVP Awards and solidified himself as the greatest scorer ever with his NBA record 10 scoring titles. Jordan's scoring run also includes a ridiculous scoring record of 165 40-point games, 32 50-point games, and 5 separate 60-point games. MJ was just unstoppable offensively.
If that is not enough, Jordan dominated defensively. MJ won the Defensive Player of the Year Award which is something extremely rare for a scorer of Jordan's magnitude. MJ was a scorer who loved to get his shots up and that was his greatest skill, as evidenced by his 10 scoring titles. But he managed to be the best defensive player in the NBA, something unprecedented in his 11 years when paired with his scoring run. Jordan also made 9 All-Defensive Teams and led the NBA in steals 3 separate times. When it comes to 2-way play, Jordan destroyed the league on both ends over an incredible span of 11 years.
To put the nail in the coffin to the GOAT debate, Jordan made the All-Star Team all 11 years and won the All-Star Game MVP 3 times. MJ was the best scorer, best overall player, and the most consistent superstar over an incredible 11-year run. We have seen superstars such as LeBron James have a run lasting over a decade, but Jordan's 6 NBA rings and 6 Finals MVPs with 10 scoring titles and DPOY Award puts all debates to rest for the foreseeable future.
Credit for the idea: Ball Don't Stop