Michael Jordan has firmly entrenched himself by many as the greatest player to grace a basketball court. Jordan‘s legacy has only grown stronger as the years have moved on since his last NBA game. With that in mind, he laid out decades ago why he doesn’t believe there will be another player that measures up to him.
Michael Jordan’s illustrious career
It didn’t take long for Michael Jordan to quickly find stardom in the NBA as he burst onto the scene as the next game-changing talent.
Jordan‘s ascension guided him through an illustrious 15-year career, where he has firmly established himself as arguably the GOAT. He reached many career-defining feats, such as six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five regular-season MVP honors, 14 All-Star selections, 10 All-NBA First-Team nods, and a Defensive Player of the Year award, among others.
Jordan defined his era in the league through his often awe-inspiring play that has set many standards. With all that in mind, he voiced years ago why he didn’t believe there would never be a player like him in NBA history.
Michael Jordan doesn’t see another player filling his shoes
Michael Jordan built a tremendously strong legacy that many have labeled him as the greatest player in league history.
Jordan has become the gold standard for the many players that have followed after him in the NBA. During an interview with the late Stuart Scott of ESPN in June 1998, he made strong comments voicing that he believes there will never be a player like him again. (H/T Fansided)
“It’s not fair, you know, but it’s a standard of measurement. When I came in, (it was) Dr. J. It’s just a standard of measurement to compare to. But there’s never going to be another Michael Jordan. There’s never going to be another Dr. J, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird. Now, there’s gonna be a Kobe Bryant, there’s gonna be a Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway. These guys are going to have similar traits, it’s how they manifest those traits to be the best basketball player.”
Jordan also singled out several of his peers such as Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. His words are not a shot at the players that took the floor after his retirement, but rather that his legacy like his peers stand alone in their own right.
Many such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will strive for the greatness that Jordan reached, but their legacies will always remain different. These comments may be from over two decades ago, but the sentiment expressed by Jordan serve the tone that each player hold their own place in league history.
Legacy will continue to impact the game
Over the years, Michael Jordan has brushed away the notion of being the greatest player in NBA history.
Jordan may not fully embrace that prestigious honor, but his game and legacy continue to impact the generations that followed him. The younger players may not have grown up watching him play because he was before their time, but it’s hard to deny the impact on the league.
The game’s best talents aspire to reach his greatness through their career behind sustained success. LeBron James has voiced on a few occasions that he is chasing Jordan’s shadow in the GOAT conversation. It’ has also become a common ground for any player that shows any trace of all-time talent that comparisons to the former Bulls great arise.
These are conversations that James and Kobe Bryant dealt with throughout much of their respective careers. Simply put, he has played a pivotal part in shaping the generations of talent that followed him in the NBA, and that will continue to be the case for many years to come.