Michael Jordan’s NBA career is synonymous with excellence. From his dunk contest performances to his six NBA Finals appearances, No. 23 has countless accomplishments we’ll never forget. But which moments are the greatest of his basketball career? We picked the top two in order to remind you of his greatness.
Michael Jordan’s NBA accomplishments
The Bulls legend went from a high-flying dunker to a global basketball icon. Jordan won 10 scoring titles, six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, an Olympic Gold medal with the 1992 U.S. Men’s Basketball team (aka the Dream Team). For his career, Jordan averaged over 30 points per game. Many consider him to be the greatest player in NBA history.
Before we visit Jordan’s top two moments of all time, here are a few performances that stand out:
- April 20, 1986: Jordan scores 63 against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs.
- May 7, 1989: He hits “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.
- June 14, 1988: Jordan makes the series- and championship-clinching shot over Byron Russell and the Utah Jazz.
While three of these moments could be included in any top-two list, it’s time to reveal our picks for the two greatest moments of No. 23’s career.
1. Jordan’s “Double Nickel” against the Knicks
When Jordan retired for the first time, it sent shock waves throughout the league. The Bulls could’ve pulled off the first four-peat since the Celtics dynasty in the 1960s, but Jordan decided to go play baseball. The move wasn’t a success at all.
After 17 months, he returned to the Bulls. In just his fifth game back, on March 28, 1995, Jordan returned to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks, who had arguably the best defense in the NBA. He torched them for 55 points and was 21-37 from the field, including 10-11 from the free-throw line.
The highlight of the night was Jordan’s running one-footed floater that he made over John Starks in the first half. This game demonstrated that Jordan was back to conquer the league and the 17-month layoff didn’t leave him with much rust on the basketball court.
2. Jordan’s ‘Flu’ game
Before the game, play-by-play announcer Marv Albert alerted the TV audience that Jordan was suffering from flu-like symptoms. Then, when the game started, Jordan seemed sluggish and out of place. The Jazz built a 16-point lead heading into the second quarter.
Then, Jordan got some energy and put up 17 points. Any time there was a break in play, fans saw Jordan hunched over with his hands on his knees. Whenever he sat on the bench, the athlete held ice packs on his forehead to cool his temperature.
However, the result of Jordan’s brilliant performance was a 90-88 victory over Utah in a road victory, as he scored 38 points. The lasting image of the game was Bulls small forward Scottie Pippen holding Jordan up, who suffered from sheer exhaustion at the game’s end.
The gutsy performance on basketball’s biggest stage makes this an easy win for the No. 1 moment of Jordan’s basketball career.