I am a diehard basketball enthusiast and online sports writer. I love writing about strategy and team management.
Here you will find stats on Michael Jordan regarding both his offense and defense, explanations as to why these statistics are so impressive, and a lot of Jordan’s seemingly endless accomplishments. This article will give you all the information you need to explain Jordan’s greatness to your stubborn friends.
A Season of Dominance
I believe beginning with a discussion of Jordan’s 87-88 season will set the tone for this article well. In the 1987-88 season, Michael Jordan led the league in scoring with 35 points a game, was named the defensive player of the year, and won MVP. The next highest scorer was Dominque Wilkins with 30 points a game. Jordan played all 82 games, so a 5-point differential 82 times comes up to a pretty wide margin. Jordan is a 9-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, but this year he won Defensive Player of the Year. This is one of the three times Jordan led the league in steals. Jordan was the best player in the NBA on defense and by far the best player on offense. On top of all this, he won the dunk contest this year too. Even crazier, this was only his fourth season in the NBA, and he missed almost all of his sophomore year with an injury. In the following 1988-89 season, Jordan averaged 32 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds a game.
Offensively, Jordan has a very long list of accomplishments. He led the NBA in scoring 10 times. The first time was in his 3rd season, and he would go on to lead the league in scoring every single season he played until he unretired the second time to play with Washington. Basically, he led the league in scoring every single season he played beside his rookie year and the last two with the Wizards (he was 39 and 40 years old). Jordan averaged 37 points a game one season. The only player in the history of the NBA to average more points in a single season is Wilt Chamberlain. Even with Wilt's unreal scoring displays, Jordan still has a better career points per game average. Jordan has won 10 NBA scoring titles while Wilt has 7 (LeBron only has 1). No other player has ever even come close to this length of dominance. Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant, and George Gervin are next, all with 4! That is less than half the number of years Jordan led the league in scoring. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for career points scored and only led the league in scoring twice. So to clarify, Jordan was the best scorer in the league and averaged more points per game than anyone else ever.
Defensively, Jordan was just as dominant. He has been selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, the most first-team selections ever. He shares this honor with Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett. Jordan also won Defensive Player of the Year after the 1987-88 season, which is very rare for a guard. Only three guards have ever been named DPOY; Sidney Moncrief, Gary Payton, and of course, Michael Jordan. MJ also led the NBA in steals for three seasons. Only one player has led the league in steals more times than Jordan, and that’s Chris Paul. So to clarify, Jordan was the most dominant defensive player in the league more times than anyone else.
Michael Jordan was named NBA Most Valuable player five times. The only player to be MVP more times than Jordan is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jordan also has six rings. Excluding the players on the 50s and 60s Celtics teams, the only player with more championships than Jordan is Robert Horry. Of those six rings, Jordan was Finals MVP all six times. He has the most Finals MVP awards; the next closest players only have three.
This article is full of statistics and hopefully low on opinion (to keep this one objective). Now the next time you get in an argument over who is really the greatest of all time, pull up this article and you will be armed with statistic after statistic so you can properly frame the greatness of Michael “Air” Jordan.
© 2018 Timothy Ryan
Emilio J Martinez on May 13, 2020:
Michael was & is the greatest basketball player ever.