During the latter stages of his illustrious career and well into retirement, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is well regarded as being the greatest player to play in the NBA. Jordan has earned the adoration and respect from his peers and fans alike that hold him in that high regard for many years. It’s a discussion that he firmly holds his spot in and will always be considered for that vaunted spot given what he showcased throughout his playing days. Even with all that being said, Jordan still doesn’t give himself that prestigious title.
Michael Jordan’s illustrious career
In his 15 seasons in the NBA, Jordan put forth an incredibly productive and achievement filled career.
There is certainly much that could be said about his performance on the court that was unmatched in many regards. Jordan had the accolades to his name with six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five regular-season MVP awards, 14 All-Star selections, fourth on the all-time scoring list, a Defensive Player of the Year award, 10 All-NBA First team nods, nine All-Defensive FIrst team selections, and 10 scoring titles among other things.
Jordan took his game to the next level in the playoffs, reaching that 13 times in his career where he averaged at least 30 points on 12 occasions, scored 50 or more points eight times, and won an NBA title in each of his six trips to the Finals where he never played in a Game 7.
Jordan accomplished it all on the court while his play on the court helped him earn a strong reputation that has placed him firmly in the conversation as the greatest player of all-time.
Why Michael Jordan will never call himself the greatest
For more than the last two decades, Jordan has commonly been referred to as the greatest player to ever play in the NBA.
It’s an honor that Jordan has never entirely embarrassed since that conversation began. That’s something he will never call himself for the simple fact that he didn’t have the chance to play against the greats like Wilt Chamberlain or Jerry West before him.
“I don’t want in a sense because I think it disrespects Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, all the guys that prior to me I never had a chance to play against. What everybody is saying I am, I never had the chance to compete against other legends that was prior to me. When I hear it, I cringe a little bit because it’s a little bit embarrassing because no one knows. I would loved to have played against them, but I never did. For you to say that I am better than him, I mean, it’s your opinion. It’s their opinion. I accept that as their opinion.
If you ask me, I would never say that I’m the greatest player that’s because I never played against the players that represented the league prior to Michael Jordan.
Jordan’s stance does have some reasonable validity as there is no way of truly knowing how he would match up against star players before him. That could be said about the players after him, such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
They all played in different eras, but even with Jordan pushing back, it’s hard not to put him at the top of the list in that conversation.
Michael Jordan’s legacy
Regardless of where Jordan believes he stands in the conversation, his legacy is one that is unmatched by any other player or even any other professional athlete.
Jordan is a household name with a global impact as he’s inspired many across the world. He has drawn many to the game of basketball, including many of the greats after him, such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Dwyane Wade.
His presence over the game is one that has engrained him as one of the most important sports figures of all time. Jordan may not express those sentiments publicly, but it’s one that has further cemented his legacy.