Who would have thought this lanky guard from North Carolina would become the Greatest.
I wasn't alive when Jordan played at Carolina but of course I know the history. From what I hear from the older generations, Jordan wasn't even the best player in his conference, let alone the country. Len Bias was supposed to be the next big thing but tragedy didn't allow that to happen; but you still knew Jordan had something special about him.
He proved that his freshman year when he hit the game-winning jump shot in the 1982 National Championship game against Pat Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas. An 18-foot mid-range shot from a freshman with less than 20 seconds remaining in the championship game is not something you see too often. That still wasn't enough to signify that Michael Jordan would become "Michael Jordan".
Despite all that, I still don't think anyone thought he would become "MJ". The Trailblazers and Houston Rockets surely didn't, both bypassing on Jordan for big men in the 1984 draft. The Rockets took Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon 1st overall, which wasn't a bad pick at all, but the Blazers took center Sam Bowie out of Kentucky 2nd overall and they have been reminded of how bad that pick was for the last 30 years.
You can't blame the Blazers for taking Bowie over Jordan simply because YOU NEVER PASS UP ON A BIG MAN. Of course looking back on it, the pick was awful but at that time, Sam Bowie was a 7-fter that could ball and had tremendous upside. And like I said, nobody knew Jordan would become "Jordan"
The Chicago Bulls picked him but I don't even think they knew what would become "The Legend of Michael Jordan". It didn't take long before the league knew this kid was the next best thing. In his first NBA season he averaged 28.7 points a game while making 51% of his shots. Even though he was horrible from behind the arc, shooting 19%, he still manage to score 28 points a game.
Guards wasn't doing that at that time.
If I showed you that stat with no name, size, or position, you would guess that was a big man. Jordan didn't need to shoot 3's though, his ability to get to the basket was unprecedented.
An example of how much he didn't need to shoot 3's, in the 1st round of the 1986 Eastern Conference playoffs against the Celtics, He averaged 43 points in 3 games with only 1 trey ball attempt. One game he scored 63 and didn't shoot one 3-pointer. 6'6 guards are not supposed to do that, especially against that great Celtics squad.
After missing 63 games the season in the 1985-86 season, he went on to average 37 points a game during the 1986-87 season. Yes you read that right, 37 POINTS. Mind you, that was only his 3rd season in the NBA. He became the only player since Wilt Chamberlain to score 3,000 points in a season.
The 90's is where the legend was truly born. After losing to the Pistons 3 straight years, some questioned whether or not MJ was the real deal because he could never get to the Finals. In the 1990-91 season, the Bulls won 61 games and Jordan won his 2nd MVP averaging 31 points a game, but they would have to meet the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals for the 4th straight time.
The Pistons used to just beat up on Jordan anytime he came into the lane -- I guess you can say the Pistons made Jordan a better perimeter shooter. And other than Scottie Pippen, Jordan didn't really have much help. This was Jordan time though. Not only did they beat the Pistons, they swept them.
The Pistons didn't even shake the Bulls hands after the final game, walking right pass the Bulls on their way to the locker room.
Jordan legend was solidified at this point, it wasn't what it is now, but he was a great player and a for sure Hall Of Famer. In his first nine season, he only average less than 30 twice, one of which was when he missed 63 games. He was a 3-time MVP and 3-time Finals MVP, but after the 1993 Finals, Jordan decided to walk away from the game to play baseball, something his father wanted him to do. The decision was because of his father, who was murdered, which caused him to lose some love for the game. It's amazing to see how much he accomplished in only 9 seasons. And when he walked away he was in his prime but the love wasn't there.
People only could try to imagine what could happen if he kept playing. But then........
".....Comeback like Jordan wearing the 4-5" and that's exactly what happen, he came back.
Now while he was gone, the Houston Rockets won back-to-back Finals in '94 and '95. Hakeem was the man and the Bulls were a good team but not great. Jordan came back in the '95 season but he only played in 17 games, one of which was a 55-point game inside Madison Square Garden. The Bulls didn't make it to the Finals though, losing to the Orlando Magic in 6 games during the Eastern Conference Finals.
After a full off-season, Jordan finished where he left off in '93. The Bulls went 72-10 during '96-97 season, setting a new NBA record for most wins in a season, and swept the Seattle Supersonics in the Finals. This was an emotional title for Jordan because it was the first title since his father's death and he won it on Father's Day.
Jordan went on to win 2 more finals, both against the Jazz, completing his second 3-peat, and finally completing the legend of Michael Jordan. Jordan and the Bulls won 6 titles in 8 years while never seeing a game 7. At that point the world knew that Michael Jeffrey Jordan was the greatest. In 13 seasons, Jordan averaged 30.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.2 assist, and 2.4 steals a game.
Jordan is the greatest thing to happen to the NBA and I strongly feel that way. Not one player in the history of the game made such an impact, not only on the game of basketball, but also popular culture. Basketball for the longest time was a game for big men. After Jordan came in and dominated a league full of hall of fame big men with crazy guard play, every GM in the league wanted to find the next Michael Jordan. Even to this day GMs want to stumble across that rare treasure. It's not only GMs, the media and fans also want to find that rare treasure. What everyone fail to realize is THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER MICHAEL JORDAN.
MJ is a once in a lifetime phenom. He did things on the basketball court that would have been difficult for the Harlem Globetrotters. When you sit and breakdown the numbers, the championships, the impact, and the amount of time he did it in, it's not possible for someone to be that great in that short of time.
And since people like to compare all the time, I think once you lose a Finals, you can't be compared to Jordan because he never loss in the Finals. And not only did he win Finals, he kept great players from getting a ring, Barkley, Ewing, Reggie Miller, and the list goes on. The only way for somebody else to win was for him to leave the league for a while. It's disrespectful to Jordan to compare these players to him. Jordan is on a level where no one will reach, so from here on out I ask everyone after you read this to STOP THE COMPARISONS.