I've been a fan of Gordon Ramsay since he started his television career with 'Boiling Point.' He has been a star ever since.
Michael Jordan Excelled on Both Ends of the Floor
Michael Jordan was one of the few complete players in league history. Most players tend to specialize on one end while not being very good on the other.
Think of offensive stalwarts like Trae Young, Reggie Miller and Carmelo Anthony. These players could score 30 in their sleep. However, they did not exert enough effort on the defensive end.
On the other end of the spectrum were great defensive players who were not that good offensively. Think of Andre Roberson, Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman. These players could lock down their opponents and make life difficult for them, but they could not light up the scoreboard against NBA defenses.
Michael Jordan was a 10-time scoring champion and a one-time Defensive Player of the Year winner. While most of the highlights we would see of Michael are from offensive plays or slam dunk contests, Michael was an excellent lockdown defender. Michael had a decent 6.9-foot wingspan while running mate Scottie Pippen had a 7.25-foot wingspan. This made life for opposing offenses very difficult. They were two of the best wing defenders of their era and of all time.
On the offensive end, Michael was a stud. He averaged 30.1 points; this record is unsurpassed to this day. He also compiled 32292 points, which is the fifth highest of all time. He also had eight seasons of averaging 30 points.
On the defensive end, Michael averaged 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals for his career and was a three-time steals leader. He also averaged a block or more for four seasons.
While Michael's defensive accomplishments are often overlooked because of his offensive prowess, there is no doubt that Michael was a complete player.
Michael Jordan Had Numerous Accolades
There have been many great players throughout the league's history, but very few could hold a candle to Michael's accomplishments.
Right out of the gate, Michael was a special player. He averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.4 steals on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award against future Hall of Famers such as John Stockton, Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Michael was a flyer in the mold of Julius Erving. While he may not have been as good a passer as Magic Johnson or as good a shooter as Larry Bird, he was an exciting player. He further cemented his reputation by winning back-to-back Slam Dunk Championships in 1987 and 1988.
Michael was a staple at the annual All-Star event as he was named an All-Star 14 different times. He was also named the MVP of the event three times.
Jordan was a dominant scorer and was a 10-time scoring champion. He currently sits at fifth all time on the scoring list.
He was no slouch on the defensive end either as he was a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Tram Selection, three-time steals leader and a one-time Defensive Player of the Year winner.
As a testament to his excellence, Michael was nominated 10 times to the All-NBA First Team and one time to the All-NBA Second Team.
Jordan was also a five-time Most Valuable Player. He had the ability to elevate his teammates and make them better.
The pinnacle of Jordan's accomplishments was a dual three-peat—a feat never done by Larry or Magic. Jordan also won the Finals MVP six times.
Michael Jordan Was Clutch
Most players shrink at pressure-packed moments. Jordan was one of the few who actually thrived. Michael was an assassin, especially during the fourth quarter and the closing minutes of games.
It was not only a matter of making the shot during the closing moments of a game but also about making the right play.
Jordan made a clutch pass in Game 6 of the 1997 Finals to Steve Kerr and Kerr made the dagger that sunk the Utah Jazz.
He also made the shot over Craig Ehlo in the closing seconds of Game 5 of the first round against their Eastern rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was a close series tied at 2-2 and it was sink or swim for the Bulls.
Jordan's most famous shot was a mid-range jumper over Bryon Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals. John Stockton would miss a three-pointer on the other end and the Bulls went on to capture their sixth title and second three-peat.
Jordan Brought the NBA to International Stage
The NBA was not always as big and as profitable as it is today. Low ratings and drug scandals nearly put the NBA out of business. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird helped save the faltering league.
The NBA was not big outside the U.S.A., however, and it needed a boost in its international presence. Michael Jordan was the man to bring the NBA to the global stage. First off, Michael was a successful product endorser. While he endorsed many products, he is best known as an endorser of Nike, Coca-Cola, Hanes, Gatorade and Wheaties.
Aside from being a pitchman, Jordan was also a great ambassador for the league. His fame skyrocketed when he was part of the legendary 1992 Dream Team alongside Larry and Magic. This helped introduce the NBA to an
Jordan Had a Mass Crossover Appeal
Michael was much more than a mere basketball player. He transitioned to being a media icon and an endorser. He was a big celebrity in every sense of the word. He would get interviewed everywhere and would even appear in shows hosted by Larry King, David Letterman and Jay Leno.
Michael would even get to appear in the movie Space Jam. This was a crossover between him and Looney Tunes characters.
The premise of the movie is that the Monstars stole the talents of NBA stars such as Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues and Larry Johnson. It was up to Michael and his merry band of Looney Tunes to beat them and save the universe.
He would also appear in the '90s cartoon ProStars alongside Wayne Gretzky and Bo Jackson.
© 2020 Jan Michael Ong