Michael Jordan’s Best Accomplishments Per Season: The GOAT Won Absolutely Everything

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Michael Jordan’s Best Accomplishments Per Season: The GOAT Won Absolutely Everything

Michael Jordan remains the greatest player of all time. He has one of the most dazzling resumes in the Hall of Fame, which includes six championship rings and Finals MVP trophies. Jordan had this killer instinct when it came to competition. He was going to find a way to win at every possible level he could.

Jordan is the all-time leader in points, rebounds, assists, and steals for the Chicago Bulls. From the start of his career in 1984 to its end, which included two separate retirements, Jordan was a worldwide icon. When you look at his year-to-year accomplishments, it’s hard to find anyone else that should take the title of “Greatest of All-Time.”


1984-1985 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star, Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie First Team, All-NBA Second Team

The Bulls selected Jordan with the No. 3 overall pick right after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie. Both the Rockets and Trail Blazers needed a center, which allowed Jordan to fall two picks. Instantly, Jordan became a fan favorite in Chicago.

In his rookie season, Jordan averaged 28.2 points on 51.5% shooting. Based on his popularity at a young age, rumors of a “freeze-out” from Isiah Thomas circulated, which caused controversy among veterans in the league. He helped the team become immediate playoff contenders, earning him Rookie of the Year. The Bulls ultimately lost in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks.


1985-1986 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star

An often remembered moment was in August 1985 when Jordan shook the arena during a Nike exhibition game in Italy. He shattered the glass of the backboard with a dunk and became a worldwide milestone as Jordan’s rise was in full effect. The shoes worn at the time have since been auctioned off for $615,000.

Jordan’s second season was cut short when he broke his foot in the third game of the season. Jordan missed 64 games. In the end, the Bulls made the playoffs despite a 30-52 record.


1986-1987 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star, All-NBA First Team, Slam Dunk Contest Champion, Scoring Champion

Jordan enjoyed a comeback season after fully recovering from his foot injury. Jordan helped the Bulls qualify for the playoffs and won his first Slam Dunk Contest championship. Jordan set an NBA record, still active today, for points in a playoff game with 63 in Game 2. The Celtics ultimately swept the series though.

Jordan led the league in scoring with 37.1 points on 48.2% shooting. Along with that, Jordan showed off his defensive skills. During this season, he became the first player ever to record 20 steals and 100 blocked shots in a season.


1987-1988 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Steals Leader, Defensive Player of the Year, Slam Dunk Contest Champion, Scoring Champion, All-Star Game MVP

Jordan began to rise as the face of the league, but the NBA title was hanging in the balance of the Detroit Pistons. Known as the “Bad Boys,” Jordan had a roadblock in the Detroit teams. Jordan won his first MVP trophy by averaging 35.0 points on 53.5% shooting and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year as he averaged 3.1 steals and 1.6 blocks per game.

The Bulls finished 50-32 and defeated the Cavaliers in the first round in five games. However, the Bulls were defeated by the more experienced Pistons in five games, who were led by Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Bill Laimbeer.


1988-1989 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star, All-NBA First Team, Scoring Champion, All-NBA Defensive First Team

Jordan once again led the league in scoring by averaging 32.5 points on 53.8% shooting. That also included eight rebounds and assists per game. Despite frustration with head coach Doug Collins for moving him to point guard in place of the injured Sam Vincent, Jordan averaged 10 triple-doubles in 11 games with 33.6 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game during that stretch.

The Bulls finished the season 47-35 and qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals by defeating the Cavaliers and Knicks along the way. The Cavaliers series featured “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo in the fifth and final game. The Bulls were once again taken down by the Pistons by utilizing the “Jordan Rules'' method, which included double and triple-teaming him each time he touched the ball.


1989-1990 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star, All-NBA First Team, Scoring Champion, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Steals Leader

The Bulls were a legitimate title contender with Jordan, as well as a young core of Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant. Phil Jackson took over for Collins before the regular season began. Jordan enjoyed plenty of success, including scoring a career-high 69 points in a road win over the Cavaliers.

In the season, Jordan averaged a league-leading 33.6 points on 52.6% shooting, along with 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists. The Bulls made the Conference Finals but were taken out by the Pistons for a third straight season.


1990-1991 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: NBA Champion, Finals MVP, MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Scoring Champion, AP Athletes of the Year

Jordan secured his second MVP by averaging 31.5 points per game on 53.9% shooting to go with 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists. The Bulls won the division for the first time in 16 years and set a franchise record for wins with 61. With Pippen developed into an All-Star, the Bulls advanced to the Conference Finals to meet their arch-rivals Pistons, once again.

This time, the Bulls swept the Pistons, prompting the team to walk off the court refusing to shake their hands. In the NBA Finals, the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Magic Johnson and James Worthy, in five games. The greatest moment of the series came in Game 2 when Jordan avoided a block by switching the ball from his right to left hand in mid-air to shoot the basket. Jordan won the Finals MVP and cried while holding the trophy.


1991-1992 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: NBA Champion, Finals MVP, MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Scoring Champion, AP Athlete of the Year

The Bulls set a new record for wins with a 67-15 record. Jordan won his second consecutive MVP award by averaging 30.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. The Bulls took down the Knicks in a physical seven-game series, and then the Cavaliers in the Conference Finals in six games.

Clyde Drexler had the Trail Blazers winning the NBA Finals, but Jordan was too much. He scored 35 points in the first half in Game 1 and could be heard on the broadcast “I can’t believe I am doing this.” Jordan averaged 35.8 points in the series and he won his second Finals MVP.


1992-1993 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: NBA Champion, Finals MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Scoring Champion, Steals Leader, AP Athlete of the Year

Despite averaging 32.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists, Jordan missed out on the MVP to Charles Barkley in the regular season. Jordan was also the runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. That is what made the meeting between the Barkley-led Phoenix Suns and the Bulls even more interesting.

The Bulls won their third championship thanks to many key moments from role players, such as the game-winning shot by John Paxson to the last-second block by Horace Grant. It was Jordan though that averaged 41.0 points per game in six games. He became the first player to win three straight NBA Finals MVPs.


1993-1994 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: None

After the 1993 championship, there were signs that Jordan was tiring of his massive celebrity status and all the non-basketball obligations. During the summer, Jordan’s father was murdered, which caused massive emotional distress to Jordan, who was very close with his father.

On October 6th, Jordan announced his retirement from basketball and he pursued a career in the MLB. The Bulls finished 55-27 without Jordan but lost to the Knicks in the second round of the playoffs.


1994-1995 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: None

In March 1995, Jordan opted to quit baseball and announced his return with a two-word press release “I’m Back.” The following day Jordan scored 19 points against the Indiana Pacers. Despite his 18-month hiatus, Jordan played well, including scoring 55 points in his fifth game back.

The Bulls went 13-4 once Jordan came back and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. However, the Bulls lost to Nick Anderson and the Orlando Magic. During Jordan’s two-years semi-out of the league, the Houston Rockets won back-to-back championships.


1995-1996 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: NBA Champion, Finals MVP, MVP, All-Star, All-Star Game MVP, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Scoring Champion

The Bulls were heavily motivated to get back to winning. The franchise added Dennis Rodman, defensive and rebounding specialist, to the roster. With a new mindset and players, the Bulls began the season 41-3. The Bulls eventually finished with the best regular season in NBA history by going 72-10, a record that stood until the 73-win Golden State Warriors in 2015-2016.

Jordan led the league in scoring with 30.4 points and he won the regular season and All-Star Game MVP. The Bulls swept the Heat in the first round, defeated the Knicks 4-1 in the second round, and bested the Magic 4-0 in the Conference Finals. In the NBA Finals, Chicago took down the SuperSonics in six games, and Jordan was named Finals MVP. After winning his first championship since his father’s death, Jordan reacted emotionally by hugging the game ball and crying on the locker room floor.


1996-1997 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: NBA Champion, Finals MVP, All-Star, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Scoring Champion

The Bulls finished the season 69-11, missing out on 70 wins by losing their final two games of the regular season. Jordan had a chip on his shoulder after losing the regular-season MVP award to Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone, who qualified for the NBA Finals against Jordan’s Bulls.

The series featured two clutch moments of Jordan’s career. In Game 1, Jordan won the game for Chicago with a buzzer-beating jump shot. Then, in Game 5, Jordan played despite a fever and dehydration, which has since been dubbed “The Flu Game.” Jordan scored 38 points, including the game-deciding three-pointer with 25 seconds left. The Bulls won the series in six games and Jordan won another Finals MVP.


1997-1998 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: NBA Champion, Finals MVP, MVP, All-Star, All-Star Game MVP, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, Scoring Champion

The Bulls finished with a 62-20 record and Jordan led the league for a 10th and final time in his career with 28.7 points per game. This secured his fifth and final regular-season MVP. The Bulls survived a seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers in the Conference Finals, which included Jordan playing in a Game 7 for the first time in seven years.

The season is most commonly known as “The Last Dance,” featured many incredible moments in the Finals against the Utah Jazz. The Bulls led the series 3-2 and returned to Utah for Game 6. With 41.9 seconds left, the Bulls trailed 86-83 and Phil Jackson called a timeout. After cutting the lead to one, Jordan recovered a steal, dribbled down the floor, pushed off Byron Russell, and made the climatic go-ahead shot with 5.2 seconds to give Chicago an 87-86 lead.

After John Stockton missed a game-tying shot, the Bulls secured their sixth NBA championship. Jordan was named Finals MVP after averaging 33.5 points per game in the series, including 45 points in the deciding Game 6.


1998-1999 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: None

With Phil Jackson’s contract expiring, as well as the pending departures of Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, Jordan retired for the second time in his career.


1999-2000 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: None

Kwame-Brown

On January 19, 2000, Jordan returned to the NBA but not as a player. He became a part-owner and president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards. Jordan’s responsibilities included controlling all aspects of the Wizards’ basketball operations. That included drafting Kwame Brown with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.


2000-2001 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: None

Michael Jordan 2000-2001

Jordan remained out of basketball but claimed that he expressed interest in making another comeback in the summer of 2001. Jordan hired his old head coach, Doug Collins, as Washington’s coach, which foreshadowed his return to basketball.


2001-2002 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star

Jordan led the team in scoring with 22.9 points and 5.2 assists. He was considered an MVP candidate early after helping the Wizards secure a winning record. He eventually finished 13th in the voting after injuries wiped away his chances.

Jordan suffered from torn cartilage in his right knee on February 7, 2002. This caused him to miss time and the losing streak in his absence forced the Wizards to miss the playoffs. The Wizards finished the season 37-45 as the No. 10 seed.


2002-2003 NBA Season

Accolades and Awards: All-Star

In his 14th All-Star Game, Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star history. This record has since been broken by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. In his final season, Jordan played in all 82 games, starting 67 of them. Jordan came off the bench in his first 15 games after recovering from his knee injury.

Jordan turned 40 later in the season and became the first 40-year old to score at least 43 points in an NBA game. Many tributes were made to Jordan, but the Wizards missed the playoffs for the second straight season. In his final game, Jordan received a three-minute standing ovation by teammates and fans of the 76ers.

Credit for the idea: Sports Kingdom