NBA

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg Destroyed Today’s NBA Stars While Praising Michael Jordan on His 58th Birthday

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg covered Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during the ’90s as a sports reporter, so he saw first-hand how special MJ was.

That’s why the veteran ESPN pundit will never entertain the GOAT debate because he knows no one will ever top Jordan.

For Michael Jordan’s 58th birthday, Mike Greenberg presented his five favorite stats about the Bulls legend. He also destroyed today’s NBA stars while praising MJ.

Mike Greenberg’s five favorite Michael Jordan stats are mind-boggling

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Every basketball fan knows that Michael Jordan won six titles with the Bulls, six Finals MVPs, five regular-season MVPs, and went 6-0 in the Finals. Mike Greenberg wasn’t going to use his Jordan segment on ESPN to talk about those facts since they are common knowledge.

Instead, the New York native pointed out some Jordan statistics that may shock the average person in 2021.

Greenberg started with Jordan being the most popular athlete in America despite not having played in an NBA game since 2003. The six-time NBA champion currently polls as the most popular athlete in the United States.

Next, Greenberg talked about Jordan’s historic 1987-88 season. Not only did the NBA icon win MVP, but he also took home the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Only three players in NBA history have won MVP and DPOY in the same campaign.

However, that’s not the feat Greenberg gloated about. The ESPN host marveled at how Jordan averaged 35.0 points per game while winning DPOY. The next closest player to that points per game average amongst players who have won DPOY was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1993-94. The Dream averaged 27.3 points a night.

Greenberg is also amazed that Jordan stole 30 bases for the Birmingham Barons in 1994-95 and racked up 30 steals with the Bulls after coming back to the NBA near the end of the 1994-95 NBA campaign.

Greenberg’s second-to-last memorable Jordan stat is “His Airness” having two of the three 100 blocks/200 steals/300 assists/300 rebounds seasons in NBA history. It just goes to show how complete of a player MJ was.

To conclude his Michael Jordan piece, Mike Greenberg decided to take a shot at today’s NBA stars while revealing his favorite MJ stat.

Mike Greenberg loved the fact that Michael Jordan never took games off

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Mike Greenberg signed off by ripping today’s NBA stars for taking games off due to “load management.” During Michael Jordan’s six championship seasons, the Hall of Famer missed a combined total of six games in the regular season.

“For context, this season alone, Joel Embiid has missed six games,” Greenberg said. “Kawhi Leonard has missed six games, Paul George has missed nine, Kyrie Irving has missed 10, and Kevin Durant has missed 11. I understand there are extenuating circumstances, but Michael Jordan played. He showed up on a Tuesday night in February in New Jersey and acted like that game was Game 7 of the NBA Finals.”

Jordan never wanted to miss a game, even if he was hurt. He knew there was someone in the crowd who hadn’t seen him play before and wanted to put on a show.

For that mindset alone, Mike Greenberg will always love Michael Jordan.

The NBA world lost the closest player we’ll ever see to MJ

LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in January of 2020. He was the closest player we’ll ever see to Michael Jordan, as Bryant played exactly as MJ did and had the same vicious mentality on the court.

At Bryant’s public memorial at Staples Center, Jordan delivered a moving speech while talking about how Kobe was his little brother. It still doesn’t seem real that Bryant is no longer with us, but his legacy and spirit will never be forgotten.