He’s viewed by many as the greatest basketball player of all time. Michael Jordan was flat-out dominant when he played 15 years in the NBA, 13 of them with the Chicago Bulls. In those 13 seasons, he captured six NBA titles and was a five-time league MVP. He was confident and fearless on the court. According to a former teammate, Jordan only feared one player on the basketball court.
Is Michael Jordan the best ever?
When it comes to naming the best player to ever play in the NBA, Michael Jordan is usually at the top of the list. Jordan has six NBA titles to his name and was the Most Valuable Player in five seasons. Jordan led the league in scoring 10 different seasons and made the NBA All-Defensive Team nine times.
When the debate comes up for the NBA’s GOAT, Jordan and LeBron James usually begin the conversation. James, if all goes according to plan, will likely end his career as the league’s all-time scoring leader. He is third on the list now and is still going strong at 35 years old. James is the current co-favorite, along with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, for this year’s MVP award.
Jordan’s six NBA titles to James’ three is what really separates the two. James, who has four MVP honors, could close the gap if his Western Conference-leading Lakers secure another NBA title. If that happens and James is named the league’s MVP, the GOAT conversation could become very interesting.
Jordan struck fear into opponents
Michael Jordan was the most dominant player of his era. He finished his career with a 30.1 points-per-game average. Jordan had a swagger, a hunger to be the best, and a confidence that couldn’t be matched.
“He just had this charisma on top of all the gifts and skills and mentally, you know how great he is,” former NBA guard Steve Nash said in a CBS Sports article in May. “Playing against him, the one thing that I think he was unlike any other player I’ve played against is that there was a real fear playing against him. I’ve never seen the league be kinda fearful of a player or have that much reverence for a player.”
In the 1993 NBA Finals, Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns squared off against Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. The two future Hall of Famers clashed and that’s when Barkley said he knew there was something extremely special in Jordan. “In Game 2, I played as well as I could play, and Michael just outplayed me,” Barkley said in The Insider. “That was probably the first time in my life that I felt like there was a better basketball player in the world than me, to be honest with you.”
Former teammate says Jordan feared one player on the court
Ever since he was in high school, Michael Jordan played the game of basketball without any fear. He played the game as if he was the best player on the planet. According to Buzz Peterson, Jordan’s college teammate and roommate at the University of North Carolina, there was someone who struck fear into Jordan when they met on the basketball court.
According to CBS Sports, Peterson said NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor struck fear in Jordan when the two clashed on the basketball court at North Carolina. Taylor was a freak of an athlete and always wanted to guard Jordan in pickup games.
“There is one guy that I always thought, and I know to this day — I don’t know if Michael won’t admit or not, but I swear that he had a little bit of fear of — and it wasn’t a basketball player,” Peterson said.” It was a football player by the name of Lawrence Taylor. LT, phenomenal athlete. Could guard east to west, as quick as anybody, could jump, big hands, strong and was a bit crazy. So Michael in the back of his mind said, ‘S**t, I better be careful with this guy.’ And LT always wanted to guard him.”