Michael Jordan is known as the Greatest of All Time but nobody is perfect.
1) 72-10 Regular Season Record
The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers were a legendary team that finished the season with a 69-13 record, including 33 straight wins and the franchise's first NBA championship. They were led by Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, and Jerry West. (A fourth Hall of Famer, Elgin Baylor, retired nine games into the season.)
The Lakers held the record for most wins in an NBA regular season, until the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls finished with 72 wins, and captured the championship . That team was anchored by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.
Chicago's record was subsequently broken by the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors, who posted a 73-9 regular season record, but fell one game short of the NBA title.
2) 18 Straight Regular Season Wins
The all-time record for consecutive wins is 33 by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Though the 18 straight wins by the Bulls in 1995-96 is only 11th on the list, it's the longest streak for any Chicago Bulls team.
The win streak began on December 29, 1995, with a blowout win (120–93) against Chicago's Eastern Conference rival, the Indiana Pacers. The streak ended on February 4, 1996, with a close loss (99–105) to the Denver Nuggets.
We often take win streaks for granted, but we need to take into account that an 82-game season is grueling, what with travel, fatigue, and injuries.
3) 6-Time NBA Champion (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
Winning a single championship is difficult. A lot of legendary players ended their career without winning one. Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Karl Malone, to name a few. Michael did more than just win one, though. He won a pair of threepeats.
It's arguable that the one-and-a-half seasons Jordan spent away from the game playing baseball could have been used to win two more championships to potentially pull off an eight-peat. This is a feat that has not been done since Bill Russell's Celtics were dominating the league in the 1960s.
The closest player to duplicate the dual three-peat was Kobe Bryant, who had one three-peat and one two-peat.
4) 6-Time NBA Finals MVP (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
Michael Jordan smokes everybody in terms of having the most Finals MVP awards. The closest to him is LeBron James, who is a four-time Finals MVP. Next up are Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan, who each have three Finals MVP awards.
This shows that Michael shined best at the biggest moments and never shied away from the biggest games.
5) 6-0 NBA Finals Record
Michael Jordan won every Finals in which he participated.
The only modern day player who beats Jordan's record is Robert Horry, who has a 7-0 Finals record with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs.
Three players share the best Finals record of 8-0. They are K.C. Jones, John Havlicek, and Tom Sanders, all of whom played for the Boston Celtics between the 1950s and 1970s.
6) 5-Time NBA Most Valuable Player (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998)
Michael Jordan was a regular contender for the MVP award once he came into the league in 1984. The winner that rookie year was Celtics legend Larry Bird. Jordan placed sixth in voting.
Jordan would go on to win the MVP award on five occasions: 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1998.
Winning the award was not easy in the '80s and '90s as the NBA had numerous stars like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, David Robinson, and Charles Barkley.
7) 14-Time NBA All-Star (1985–1993, 1996–1998, 2002, 2003)
Michael Jordan was an immensely popular player. As such, he was consistently voted into the All-Star Game.
Michael played in the All-Star Game, even as a rookie out of North Carolina. He wasn't too bad in his debut either, as he had 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block in 22 minutes.
For his career, Michael averaged 20.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.5 blocks per game for this annual NBA event.
8) 3-Time NBA All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998)
The NBA All-Star Game features the best of the best. On three different occasions, Michael Jordan was the star of stars.
His first All-Star Game MVP came in 1988 on the strength of a 40-point explosion. He also had 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals to round out a dominant performance.
His second All-Star Game MVP came in 1996 on a very efficient, 20 point performance in a mere 22 minutes. He also had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in limited playing time.
The third award came in 1998 on a balanced performance of 23 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assist, and 3 steals.
9) Michael Jordan's Bulls Jersey Is Retired
In 1994, Michael Jordan's jersey was hung in the United Center rafters along with his running mate Scottie Pippen, and two more Bulls greats, Bob Love and Jerry Sloan.
Jordan's first run with the Bulls was 1984-1993, at which point he retired to play baseball. Jordan's second run with the Bulls lasted from 1995-1998.
10) 10-Time All-NBA First Team Selection (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
The All-NBA Team is an honor given to the very best players in the league. These are voted upon by sportswriters and broadcasters.
Originally, there were two All-NBA Teams of five players each. Since the 1988–89 season, the All-NBA Team was expanded into three teams of five players each.
Michael won All-NBA First Team honors 10 times through his storied career.
11) 1-Time All-NBA Second Team Selection (1985)
Michael won All-NBA Second Team honors one time in his career. It was during his rookie year.
This wasn't so bad since Michael was up against established veteran guards, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
12) 1-Time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1988)
Michael Jordan not only killed it on the offensive end, he was strong on the defensive end as well.
1988 saw Jordan recognized as Defensive Player of the Year with a league-leading 3.2 steals per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, and 1.6 blocks per game.
While he was only 14th in the NBA in blocks, he was the top shotblock artist among all guards.
13) 9-Time NBA All-Defensive First Team (1988–1993, 1996–1998)
Michael Jordan was known for his high flying antics and scoring ability. This is why many people overlook his defensive prowess. Michael was on the NBA's All-Defensive First Team nine times.
The All-Defensive Team is an honor bestowed to the top 10 best defenders for the season and is divided into the First and Second Team. The voting is conducted by a panel of writers and broadcasters.
14) 3-Time Steals Leader (1988, 1990, 1993)
Michael Jordan was one of the best wing defenders of all time. He had large hands and a 6'9" wingspan that allowed for easy deflections of passing lanes. He was also able to easily pickpocket the ball from other players.
Michael led the league in steals in 1988 with 3.2 steals per game, in 1990 with 2.8 steals per game, and in 1993 with 2.8 steals per game.
15) 3rd All-Time Steals Leader
Michael Jordan was an excellent defender. He ranks third in total career steals with 2,514.
He trails only John Stockton (3,265) and Jason Kidd (2,684).
16) 10-Time NBA Scoring Champion (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
Michael Jordan was an absolute scoring machine. He was the master of the mid-range shot, as well as a master of aerial acrobatics. Nobody could guard Jordan one-on-one.
This led to 10 scoring titles, the most in league history. In second place is Wilt Chamberlain, who finished with seven scoring titles.
17) Highest Scoring Average in League History (30.12 Points Per Game)
Michael Jordan was a prolific scorer and has the highest scoring average in league history with 30.12 points per game.
Second on the list is Wilt Chamberlain with 30.07 points per game.
Third is Elgin Baylor with 27.4 points per game.
18) NBA Rookie of the Year (1985)
Rookies often take years to develop. Michael was good right out of the gate.
He averaged 28.2 points on 51.5% shooting, in addition to 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game.
Jordan won the Rookie of the Year Award against fellow future Hall of Famers, Hakeem (then Akeem) Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton.
19) NBA All-Rookie First Team (1985)
When Michael Jordan was a rookie, there was only one All-Rookie Team. The Second Team was only introduced in the 1988-89 season.
For 1985, the top five rookies were Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets), Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers), Charles Barkley (Philadelphia 76ers), and Sam Perkins (Dallas Mavericks).
20) 2-Time Slam Dunk Champion (1987, 1988)
Michael Jordan was always known for his high flying act. This was such an integral part of his identity that he was christened "Air Jordan."
Michael won the 1987 Slam Dunk Contest against high fliers such as Clyde "The Glide" Drexler, Ron Harper, and Gerald Wilkins, brother of "The Human Highlight Reel," Dominique Wilkins.
Michael won the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest against high fliers such as Drexler, Dominique, and Spud Webb.
21) Member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team (1996)
1996 was the 50th anniversary of the NBA and the league honored their 50 greatest players. The voters were a panel of media members, former players and coaches, and current and former general managers.
Here are the 50 members of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Nate Archibald
- Paul Arizin
- Charles Barkley
- Rick Barry
- Elgin Baylor
- Dave Bing
- Larry Bird
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Bob Cousy
- Dave Cowens
- Billy Cunningham
- Dave DeBusschere
- Clyde Drexler
- Julius Erving
- Patrick Ewing
- Walt Frazier
- George Gervin
- Hal Greer
- John Havlicek
- Elvin Hayes
- Magic Johnson
- Sam Jones
- Michael Jordan
- Jerry Lucas
- Karl Malone
- Moses Malone
- Pete Maravich
- Kevin McHale
- George Mikan
- Earl Monroe
- Hakeem Olajuwon
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Robert Parish
- Bob Pettit
- Scottie Pippen
- Willis Reed
- Oscar Robertson
- David Robinson
- Bill Russell
- Dolph Schayes
- Bill Sharman
- John Stockton
- Isiah Thomas
- Nate Thurmond
- Wes Unseld
- Bill Walton
- Jerry West
- Lenny Wilkens
- James Worthy
22) Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee
Michael Jordan, who many consider to be the greatest basketball player of all time, was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11, 2009.
He joined fellow inductees Jerry Sloan, John Stockton, C. Vivian Stringer, and David Robinson in the pantheon of the game's greatest players.
23) Member of the 1992 Dream Team
The 1992 Dream Team is considered by many to be the greatest team ever assembled on a basketball court. This was a roster that was more like an NBA 2K team or a fantasy league rather than real life.
The roster was made up of the games greatest players in Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, and Chris Mullin. Duke's Christian Laettner was later added to give the team one collegiate representative.
© 2021 Jan Michael Ong