It seemed like year after year throughout the Eighties, another great player was coming into the NBA to elevate the game to an even higher level. It started with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and then a whole flood of great players such as Ewing, Olajuwon, Barkley, Malone and Stockton, Dominique, and more. Even with those household names, one stood out more than the rest – Michael Jordan.
Michael was flat-out pure talent when he came into the league with a dazzling array of jump shots, drives to the basket, and fantastic dunks that we hadn’t seen the likes of since a young Dr. J.
Michael’s early years were ones where he was an unstoppable machine and evoked fear in every team in the league. I always felt bad for the “2 guards (shooting guards) who were assigned to guard him on the teams I played with as we prepared to play against the Chicago Bulls. Our whole game plan was structured to try to stop Michael Jordan, or at least slow him down.
Michael was the best talent in the league, but when he started winning championships, he became the best all-around player too. He had a way of making his teammates (very average teammates in many cases) much better than they actually were as they would get into position to either be decoys, or legitimate threats once he got the ball to them.
There were a lot of great players around during that era, but none commanded the total team respect more so than Michael Jordan did. When I lay everything out side by side by side (championships, scoring titles, and overall statistics), Michael Jordan has to go down as the greatest NBA player ever.
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