Position: Shooting guard
Career: 15 seasons (1984-93, 1994-98, 2001-03)
Teams: Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards
NBA champions: 6 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Bottom line: Here's the GOAT argument, CliffsNotes version.
1. Achievements. No. 1 all-time win shares per 48 minutes, No. 4 all-time scorer, six NBA titles, 17 major individual awards, six NBA Finals MVP Awards, five league MVP Awards.
2. Athletic talent and instincts. Jordan was a nightmare matchup anywhere within the arc, where he had a counter to every move. At the other end, he could be a lockdown defender especially when the situation called for it.
3. Acute competition disorder. Take it from someone who covered the Bulls dynasty from start to finish — Jordan was a cutthroat S.O.B. who refused to lose. Literally.
As you may have heard, Michael Jordan liked to gamble a lot. After practice, he and other Bulls players often would compete in high-stakes games. The rare times that Jordan lost, he was known to insist that play continue until he at least broke even.
Those were his teammates, mind you.
4. Cocksureness. Jordan gambled on himself more than anyone. The guy lived for big moments and had zero fear of failure, none whatsoever. He never saw a shot that he couldn’t make, and when he did miss one, forget about it.
5. Intimidation. So much did the NBA universe revolve around Planet Jordan in the 1990s that no one dared to cross him — players, coaches, referees, team officials, league officials, media.
After Jordan punched teammate Steve Kerr in the face at a particularly heated practice one day, "Opie" (Kerr) blamed his young son for the ugly black eye rather than incur more wrath from God. One beat writer knew the real story but refused to make it public for the same reason.
So, no, I won’t bet against him. Ever.
Now let the bar brawls begin.
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