NBA / Aug 28, 2009 / 2:02 pm

Blasphemy

Young G.O.A.T.

Young G.O.A.T.

“Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player that ever lived. I mean, people say he was less than a god, but more than a man. You know, like Hercules or something!”
— Benny Rodriguez, The Sandlot

In this game, Hercules goes by the name Michael Jordan. Except for those who are old enough to have seen Wilt or Russell or Oscar play in their primes, there is little argument that MJ is the greatest basketball player that ever lived. How little? Mike is the only player who you can refer to simply as “G.O.A.T.” and everybody knows exactly who you’re talking about. And yet, over time I’ve come to learn one almost unbelievable truth:

Michael Jordan is overrated.

(I paused for a minute after I wrote that sentence. No lightning bolt, no ghost of Michael rising from the fog to dunk on my foolish head. OK, cool. Moving on…)

How could we have possibly overrated the guy who sets the standard for ratings? By having grown-ass men do what the kids in The Sandlot did, and turn him into a character that is superhuman on the court and unflawed at his craft. I wrote about this last year, when Kobe Bryant‘s competitiveness was similarly becoming blown up to legendary proportions. In painting Kobe out to be a basketball killing machine who goes 100% every single second of every single game — even when we have clear evidence to the contrary — while the sentiment and appreciation for greatness were welcome in a time where almost everybody is a cynic, at the same time, we weren’t allowing Kobe room to be human.

Jordan is, as usual, the standard-bearer for this kind of treatment. Here is an actual, typical response (taken from this article) when somebody dares bring up the notion that Kobe, the MJ of the 21st century, might be somewhere near as good as Michael:

“The Lakers were up by 24 in a Finals game and lost. That’s nothing like Michael Jordan, he would have never let that happen. No comparison.”

These are often bolstered by claims that Prime Mike would drop 67 points on Kobe easily, that he’d lock him down on D and make him look like Willie Green, and then “Six Rings!” is dropped to end the argument, intended to hit with the force of a Scottish claymore.

But Jordan also missed the playoffs or got knocked out in the first round five times. At Mike’s peak, he lost games to Lottery teams, had some 8-for-27 shooting nights, got lit up on D occasionally, got dunked on, turned the ball over, missed dunks, missed game-winners, and passed up potential game-winners. Ask him as much, and he’ll tell you. He still stands as basketball’s ultimate winner, but he was not an unyielding, flawless winner.

This isn’t about comparing Michael to Kobe — that just happens to be the closest modern-day comparison. It’s about one man reaching mythical proportions in the game, when, unlike Paul Bunyan, we actually have tons of video evidence and first-hand accounts to bring us back to reality.

In the last week, I’ve been to the magazine rack and seen ESPN and Beckett have printed special All-Jordan issues commemorating MJ’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame next month. A pretty easy and understandable undertaking considering this is the most photographed and written-about athlete ever, but where was the All-Magic issue? The All-Bird issue? Michael is bigger than the rest, but have we decided that Michael is also bigger than the game, or that he’s just the only one worthy of such reverence?

I get it, though. Jordan wasn’t just our best player, he had — and still has — the greatest aura. His influence goes beyond anyone else’s and will endure longer than anyone else’s. My younger brother, an avid Air Jordan collector, was just shy of 10 years old when Mike hit The Last Shot against Utah. I have a cousin whose name is Jordan. I watch the “Look Me In the Eyes” commercial once every couple of weeks, just because. I’ve been in a packed Madison Square Garden that buzzed, then fell silent, then broke out into wild cheering when Mike appeared in the stands and took a seat. I get that what makes Jordan JORDAN goes beyond basketball.

(Story time: In three years as a full-time professional sportswriter, I’ve been rendered speechless in front of a celebrity exactly two times.

The first was at an NBA Live 07 promo event in New York. While casually chatting up T-Mac, Tony Parker and Nate Robinson like we were lifelong friends, I soon found out Toccara Jones — subject of the greatest magazine cover I’ve ever seen — was also working the event as an interviewer for BET. Over 20 minutes that felt like an hour, my feet got me within speaking range several times, my eyes earned me a couple flashes of attention, but my mouth just wouldn’t play along.

The second time was at All-Star Weekend ’08 in New Orleans, at a Boost Mobile party/pool tournament. There I was comfortably making the rounds with everybody from Gabrielle Union to Kevin Durant (weirdest moment of my life: Choppa from Da Band came up to me and Andrew Katz like, “What up, fam?” as if we knew each other), until Michael Jordan entered the picture. In a surreal scene where Mike was playing pool against Michael Bivens while BBD’s “Poison” was blasting on the speakers, fueled by vodka-cran, I decided to go over and say something. I slipped past his bodyguard, Charles Oakley, but once I got close to Mike, I forgot what I was gonna say. I settled for “accidentally” nudging his arm, exchanging a head-nod, then giggling back to my group like a girl at a Trey Songz concert.)

But somewhere along the way, we forgot that Jordan at his best wasn’t Jordan all the time. When people get on LeBron for not having a jumper (like Mike) or not having a championship (like Mike), they forget that Mike didn’t always have those things. Even if he made it close to perfection, there was always a process.

I’ve been tinkering with this column for about a week, trying to figure out a way to make my point without being called a “hater” or just plain crazy. And maybe I am #2, but definitely not #1. Growing up, I found myself in awe of Michael’s game as much as anybody — and perhaps even more so when he came back to the Wizards and showed it wasn’t all just about physical superiority — but I was also able to see the full picture.

He wasn’t a perfect player. He isn’t completely, indisputably, the greatest of all-time. He isn’t THAT much better than Magic or Bird or Oscar or Kobe or (save this space for LeBron once he wins some championships). He didn’t score 50 “at will”; he had to work for it.

And, thankfully, Michael has too much respect for the game, his teammates and his competitors to ever say things implying otherwise. He can, like the rest of us should, remember that Space Jam was just a movie.

* Follow Austin Burton on Twitter: @AustinatDIMEmag
* Follow DIME on Twitter: @DIMEMag

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  • TheNatural

    You my boy are a….HATER!

  • Simon

    I haven’t even read the whole thing, but I just puked in my mouth a little bit… I’m not even sure if I want to continue because I think my childhood is about to be destroyed…

  • JR

    I actually agree, he is the GOAT, but not that much better than the names you mentioned.

  • bliz289

    Cool, they let you drink at work…

  • bliz289

    Nah seriously…You’ve got some points here. The legend has become greater than the man. He is still the GOAT however.

  • Scott

    Nice article.

    I think the thing we forget when saying he isn’t THAT much greater than the current guys is that when MJ retired in 96, he avg’d close to 40ppg in that finals series. He led teams to the greatest records ever.

    He may not have been a ‘perfect player’, but as far as dominating goes physically, but more so mentally is where he is leaps and bounds better than those other legends.

    While you can point out that he lost to lottery teams, and lost playoff series. It’s hard to say that once he learned truly how to win, it was game over for the rest of the league.

    The only man in history that can rival his status is Wilt, but then Wilt didn’t elevate his team to championships upon championships, Russell did that.

    MJ was imperfect like a muthafucka, but that’s what made him human; and all his successes that much more impressive.

  • http://www.dimemag.com bullet380

    THANK YOU for stating what I’ve been saying for a while. Mike, while a great player and fun to watch, wasn’t “The absolute, this isn’t even debatable, greatest of all time”. He had flaws just like everyone else. I’m old enough to remember that he wasn’t the greatest teammate (ask Craig Hodges and Steve Kerr). That he didn’t make everyone around him better from day one (ask Dave Corzine). That he wasn’t always a winner (ask the Celtics and Pistons).

    Most people that respond are going to say Mike was the best because they grew up watching him. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and know that I’m gonna catch hate from EVERYONE)….

    At the same age, Kobe is a better basketball player than Mike. Better shooter, better passer, better ball handler. Plays D just as good.

    Let the hate begin.

  • spindlest

    Space Jam was real.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Yea I can agree with the article and have thought the same thing for a long while.

    Course whenever you disgrace the name of Jordan people tend black-out lol.

    Good read.

  • justice

    i for one still cant figure out how mike used to get that much separation on his jumpshots his footwork was amazing, i know this is besides the point but kobe takes way harder contested shots, mike was stronger faster tougher smarter

  • BCap

    I’m in total agreeance, my friends say he’s the best dunker as well, but he couldn’t do soem of the thigns people are doing today. revolutionized the game, but probably has less hops than Eddie Robinson

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    MJ by no means was “perfect”, but name another player closer to “perfect” than him?

  • J.Tobias

    He will tell as much that he used defense to distinguish himself from Magic and Bird. As we all know anybody playing real ‘d’ is gonna get bopped, dunked on etc, the makings of a champion is how you respond.

  • TheNatural

    I 2nd what Scott said. MJ is “The G.O.A.T” no question. We as people are easily entertained. So to watch in amazement at the shots, dunks, last second heroics…Mike just seemed from another World.

    You can make the case that Mike is exactly where he should be. Sure you can put the crown on a bunch of players…Your Magics, Birds, Shaqs, Kobes, LeBrons (still awaiting that) but he single handedly dominated an era which some call the greatest era in basketball.

    I mean for guys like Barkley, Ewing, Stockton, Malone, & Miller to not have a chip due to one man is crazy. Let”s be real…Olujawon and Clyde were lucky.

    Also, its the marketing. The shoes & the commercials. You wanted to be Mike when the Gatorade commercial came on. You had to have a pair of MJs. You had to (even if you were a Knick fan) pray that he would drop 50 just because he’s playing in the Garden.

    No one has meant more to a sport than he has except Ali or Ruth. He was just that great. For anyone growing up in awe of his play…you wanted to be just like him playing the game we all know and love.

    How could you not think he’s the greatest after watching the Flu Game or his double nickle on his 1st game back in MSG?

    He’s an Icon. A living legend. The “G.O.A.T”

  • BRUCE

    MJ is NOT overrated. Your MAMA is overweight which is probably true!

    Puff, Puff, and Pass! Give me some!

  • yentron

    and then “Six Rings!” is dropped to end the argument, intended to hit with the force of a Scottish claymore.

    yeah you watch deadliest warrior

  • BRUCE

    If he was playing today………….Holy Hell each night!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com Pathological Lier

    Had Jordan not retired,he would of easily won 8 championships in a row..Those (97-98) Jazz teams used to own Kobe (8-1) Kobe,but not Jordan..(rings 5&6)

  • the_don_mega (representin’ the 3 stars and a sun)

    Mike is the MAN… the MYTH… the LEGEND…

  • BRUCE

    Somebody please educate this fool about the greatness of Jordan!

  • BRUCE

    Those missed game-winners, at least he got the balls to take em, (Lebron) and came back with a vengeance each time — Nick Anderson stealing the ball. Mike had to work himself into shape. So while filming Space Jams, he worked on his game too, had the film crew build a B-court!

    Determination right there!

  • Lil Pau Wow

    Austin–

    Kind of disappointed you did not provide any meaningful examples of MJ being overrated. When you have a thesis–MJ is overrated–as incendiary as yours, you have the potential to write a powerful piece. This one kind of fizzled out.

    I’m a huge MJ fan and three things really stand out from his career that make him the apex predator:

    *87-88 season. MVP, defensive player of the yr, slam dunk champ, all star game MVP, led the league in steals and points, sick #s in both catgs. He DOMINATED the league. Younger guys look up the stats from that yr. Unreal.

    *6 finals MVPs. Record is going to stand for a long time. Kobe has no shot at this one whatsoeverand LBJ has his work cut out.

    *Johnny Kilroy. Youtube it folks.

    Austin, to make your piece satisfying (granted, who cares what lil Pau Wow thinks) can you please give me 3 succinct reasons why MJ is overrated and why he should be rated beneath number one. (That’s what you mean by overrated, right?)

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    lol at the black-out commencing.

  • Simon

    I can’t believe this. As if my last day at my summer job wasn’t taking a big enough toll on my emotions, now I have to deal with this?

  • MSkittle

    Great article, Austin. Well said.. Let’s not forget Nick Anderson ripping him in the 95 playoffs and a lot of those cold shooting nights.

  • George W Kush Sr

    Fuck You.

    I say this because your points are so fucking stupid. What are you trying to say? You’re just pointing out the most obvious shit. Nobody actually thought Space Jam was a documentary and we certainly knew MJ wasn’t the first Martian to land on Earth. Thank you very much for letting me know MJ didn’t pop out of his mama’s womb with some championship rings. I’ve seen MJ play, he wasn’t faster than a speeding bullet nor did he ever jump from his own free throw line to dunk on Mutombo, so let’s hold that against him.

    It took you a week to figure out how to say MJ wasn’t perfect? Time well waisted.

    All you haters out there, calm down. When we say MJ would destroy Kobe we really don’t mean he’s going to physically kill him so you all can calm down. When we say MJ could mentally beat up opponents we’re not trying to say that his brain popped out his nose and choked John Starks. And his crossover didnt really leave a knife in your leg, he didn’t use a scope when he took jumpers, he didnt actually pull his shorts down and shit on the Pistons, etc etc…

    The title should have been STUPID RAMBLING, not Blasphemy.

    MJ is hands down the GOAT so fuck off #2. He did the most with what he had physically and that is where it’s at.

  • robmo35

    I think you’re a little too young to remember the impact that Jordan had when he came into the league. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and an older Julius Erving were the standard bearers for the league, but none of them had the impact on the casual fan that Jordan did. I would venture a guess that you would either not be writing for Dime or no one would be reading what you’re writing were it not for Jordan. The bottom line is there is no such thing as a perfect player, but if I had first pick in an all time all star draft, Michael Jordan would be it.

  • Q

    U need to get fired or maybe killed for writing this article…. U just made me hate dime… Who is u to write some shit like this anyway???…

  • dukesman2000

    I stopped at “Michael Jordan is overrated.” part. I don’t even want the shit that you’re smoking because it is making you bat shit crazy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home Weak Sauce

    Mike had beaten the “Monstars”..can Kobe beat em too?..Will there be “Space Jam 2″?Hope Bill Murray will still be in the cast, Peter Venkman rules!

  • TheNatural

    LMAO!!!! I am a huge fan of George W. Kush! You should run for Mayor.

  • isotope

    lol @ Gee. You’re so right.
    This is actually a better read than most junk I see on here.
    Good read!

  • Prof. TX

    MJ was great, but it was marketing and advertising overexposure that led to this myth that he was perfect at everything.

    I feel the same way whenever anyone types out the lie that Shaq was the most dominant player ever. Show some of Wilt Chamberlain’s stat lines, and the fact that rules had to be changed because he could put up a 50-50-20 game, and see how Shaq compares.

    Shaq’s a different case, because he’s not that smart. But Jordan would be honest enough to admit that he belongs in a group with Wilt, Magic, etc and not on some shelf above them.

  • http://www.vh1.com Vlade Onassis

    1995-96 Chicago Bulls 72-10(.878).with Longely(9.1. ppg) & a Dennis Rodman(5.5. ppg) in the front court..SMH..Not to mention Ron(Stuttering)Harpers (7.4. ppg)

  • control

    I think the only way you are going to get more hate for an article is by dissing Toronto…

  • q

    Once a Burton, always a Burton.

  • NC

    I think MJ was top three for sure. I tend to believe Magic was the best player ever myself.

    One thing I love though is hearing MJ talk about teams like the Celtics and the Lakers. That they would come to town in their prime and just know that they’d beat your team.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjH4MCFjysw

    These guys all make themselves the best with their confidence. When you actually get up to the top rung it’s virtually impossible to really rank them. But fans always will. It’s what we do.

  • Detroit Dave

    at #7 Al Jefferson puts up better points and rebs than Tim Duncan but he damn sure ain’t better than Timmy.

    Is Jordan in his prime better than Magic in his prime?

  • http://www.shujen.com Shujen

    i am just glad at the link to the cover….i will forgive you of any article with THAT link to THAT cover

  • life-p

    Good read AB, appreciate the article!

  • http://www.youtube.com/johanaagaard57 Johan

    He was not perfect in his Era. But if he played today, he would drop 50 every night!

  • Michorizo

    Here is my thought…Jordan was Jordan. I can’t argue that he wasn’t or was the best, but back when Jordan played there was one Jordan…

    Today there are multiple athletes (some teams with more than one) with not just god given talent offensively but with the defensive skills that Michael possesed. My point is the game has evolved to faster, stronger, smarter players as a whole.

    I’m not saying Mike wouldn’t hang with todays players, cuz we all know he would, just saying it would have been tougher to win championships (I wouldn’t bet against him not winning six in this era).

    There are many players with Jordans athleticism….And when Jordan played there were a select few….Now that doesnt take away from him being a winner…that is why the games are played and Jordan did what was necessary to win….this makes sense in my mind, just might not be able to put it down in words to make sense for others.

  • Detroit Dave

    Question for everybody? When was Mike in his Prime? 88-92 or 95-98, because his actual GAME changed during those 2 periods… I keep reading that he would drop 50 every night. Mike was not a created player and this ain’t XBox. Today he would still be the best player in the league but lets not go overboard with the 50 every night campaign…

  • That’s whats Up

    when Mike was ON nobody could fuck with him, on offense or defense, nuthin’

    If Stern wasn’t pissed that MJ was betting on his Bulls to win every game he wouldn’t have “changed careers” to play baseball and you’d be looking at 8 STRAIGHT TITLES

    Believe what you want but that’s the deal

  • That’s whats Up

    Austin….you still mad what Mikey did to your Sonics, huh?

    now it all makes sense

  • Michorizo

    Would he be the best today? It is hard to determine that. Would Wilt score 100 today or grab 50 boards per game. They have to play the games to make me believe. I can’t imagine situations like this…I find it funny how people try to compare eras … was Ponchorela cooler than Brad Pitt…back then CHIPS was the shit.

  • http://www.random-ish.com Sccob

    ^^^^^ I need some proof of that.

    Mike is the embodiment of hard work. What came natural to magic, bird and others Mike worked for and surpassed them. His game wasn’t the prettiest, but it was effective. One thing that everybody says about Mike was that he worked hard and was extremely competitive.

  • kevin

    @12 kobe bryant!!!! Let the hate begin

  • BMW

    True…he wasn’t perfect (nobody will ever be), but MJ was the closest thing we had to a Perfect basketball player…I mean I know he missed some crunch time shots but only some. Compared to the many he made it’s like he never missed a single…Anyway the dude excelled in EVERY CATEGORY available. Like you said he’s not that ahead of Magic or Bird but one factor is that the Lakers had a name before Magic and so did the Celtics before Bird. But the Bulls that’s different. We witnessed a man COMPLETELY turn around a franchise and more importantly a league. So when it’s all said and done it’s all about the impact he had. And nobody (in all sports) had more impact than MJ.

  • FedEx

    Haha, just cause Slam did a Jordan tribute issue and you saw it and were like oh shit, why didn’t we think of that, you go and flip the script like that.

  • DurrtyInjun

    Co-op what Scott said. Once he learned how to win he didn’t stop. Saying he lost to lottery teams and missed game winners is a B.S. argument because in the end, once he won that first ‘chip, he never lost a series in the playoffs (yes I am throwing out the 95 playoffs and the Wizards years, but who the hell can count that).

  • JAmes

    agreed – u are saying what i have been saying for years

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Come on don’t stop the madness in the 50’s.

    JORDAN SUCKS! There, now lets keep the madness going.

    Someone cuss me out with some fresh hate lol. This junk is to funny at the man-crush some of these cats have on Jordan.

  • justice

    The difference with jordan and magic is that while magic did make good players great yes but he really couldnt take over a game on both sides off the ball and tell his teammates fuck off, not only could mj shut down ur best guy he could score all his teams points himself too, i would say kobe and magic have a bit more talent than mike ever had those bulls teams fucking sucked after pip,kukoc, rodman,grant,crazy shot cartwright who else did anything after mike

  • Kaya Mann

    Media coverage is the real variable here!!!
    MJ was def the best of his era – no question but the Media coverage of his deeds is what created some of the “Hysteria” you’re reading above…
    If the Media coverage was there for Wilt’s 100 or Oscar’s 3 double seasons then we could have a real debate about G.O.A.T.
    Also style of play creates another variable not discussed here –
    Mike gets my vote because of Media and the physical nature of the D played when he did win
    Even MJ admits that the media attention wouldn’t have been there without Magic & Bird’s classic 80’s battles!!!

  • Kevin

    @FedEx — What is Slam?

  • QazQami

    competition was softer at MJ time

    lebron & kobe > MJ

    just evolution …

    it s like comparing carl lewis and bolt

  • FedEx

    It’s a gay man’s magazine where naked guys slam into eachother. If you buy the magazine you will understand the title.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Kaya Mann best post I have read in this joint so far. That is real cause can you imagine ESPN on Wilt scoring 100?!?!

    Instead of “Air Jordans” we might be rockin “Wilt 100’s”.

    In and how Mike obtained it all is pretty hard to surpass unless you talking about someone influencing a group of aliens (District 9 perhaps) on another planet to play basketball due to them seeing the amazing feats. and numbers of championships.

    Still most mature cats will agree, even as great as Mike is there are aspects of his game that can be debated and argued. Nothing is just concrete 100% hands down correct because errors in all players are there, even with Jordan.

    I would say this (article) was really one for the more immature, because hopefully the mature ones know that there are actually many debates to be had that can’t be concluded due to so many variables, even in sticking up for his greatness.

    I think the best thing I can say is that Mike consistently built his legend and added to his stature over a long period of time. Granted all the weak spots and errors and moments are there in his game, but he added to his iconic status so much in so many different areas, that errors are overshadowed greatly. And that is what players have trouble matching up with and doing.

    If anything it’s so many parts that add to and help make MJ as great as he is: Time, technology and his consistency of knowing how to or being fortunate enough to handle the time-line correctly or a few. (Players now really need to learn how to handle the time-line, that is a whole nother lesson.)

    If anything I’d say LeBron to a greater percentage and yes even Kobe still have time to add some weight to their side of the teeter-totter in the comparison debate. Game wise mainly. They most def. are going to have to win some more or start winning (in LeBron’s case) championships and hope that the aliens (District 9 again) do come to give witness to it all over a nice length of time, cause right now…while he CAN be compared, for many, there is no comparing to Jordan.

  • TheNatural

    You guys are funny. Kobe will never match MJ. As much as he basically adores & follows him. Magic & Bird had Hall of Famers all around them. Pippen and Rodman are the only stand outs for MJ.

    Mike would kill these chumps in todays game. Its a guards game today. Bunch of pansies. No hand check. The slightest bump is a tech. To play in the 80s and 90s and dominate the way he did is incredible.

    But the one thing that should kill all this overatted chatter is HE WON M.V.P & Defensive Player of The Year award (as a guard) in his 4th year in the league!!! Thats crazy!!!

  • doc

    I totally understand where you coming from dog.Thats real shit.These dudes just so miked out they think he never did wrong on the court.Nobody is perfect.He is the Goat but he wasnt perfect.He won 6 out of what 13,14 years.Thats greatest of all time status but not even 50 percent.The nigga got his ass beat before too.

  • JordaMnnnn!

    So, basically, Jordan was not perfect because “he took time to develop and eventually reached up to the top”… as in he didn’t come into the league as THE MAN right away? and the rest of article just drags on,lol – I think I sort of understand what you’re trying to say… :-/

  • http://www.kikaayacollegeschool.net smity far away

    mixed feelings about the post but i appreciate the writing quality. the comments are going to be very entertaining. M.J. is and will always be the G.O.A.T. to me, but thats just cause i’m a baby from the 80s. and whats greater is that i was born and raised in the G.O.A.T. city where the G.O.A.T. played and won his chips.

  • doc

    Thats it JordaMnnn,because cats judge other players on Mike whole career and forget when he was in his early to mid 20’s he was getting beat while putting up crazy numbers and getting all the awards while people were saying he didnt deserve it because he couldnt win.If you go back to 88 it was as many cats saying he didnt deserve MVP and DPOY just like they was saying Bron aint deserve his props for MVP and 2nd in DPOY this year.Mike lost in the playoffs that year to Detroit easy,just like cleveland went out like lambs this year.All he saying is when judging players remember it all,development and everything.

  • loganlight
  • dapro

    I can see why some may say MJ was overrated but no other basketball player I’ve seen dominated the opposition like Mike

    Every other great player in his generation lost simply because he couldn’t stand to lose

    His numbers are video game like, I won’t even post the stats I’ll let the accolades speak for themselves

    Six-time NBA champion (1991-93, 1996-98);
    MVP (1988, ’91, ’92, ’96, ’98);
    10-time All-NBA First Team (1987-93, 1996-98);
    All-NBA Second Team (1985);
    Defensive Player of the Year (1988);
    Nine-time All-Defensive First Team (1988-93, 1996-98); Rookie of the Year (1985);
    14-time All-Star; All-Star MVP (1988, ’96, ’98);
    One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (’96);
    Olympic gold medalist (1984, ’92).

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Austin, way to have some balls…

  • K Dizzle

    @ Austin – good read on a friday afternoon. It’s only funny cuz it’s readin like “Mike is good, maybe the best of all time…..but he wasn’t that good” lol

    @ justice – please don’t rip Magic to build up Mike cuz nobody buyin that. I been a Laker fan since I was seven and around 82-88, everybody in my world wanted to run the break and flip no looks like Magic. You can make the case that there were 6’6 two guards who could score like Mike, could defend like Mike, could shoot like Mike, just none that could do it all like Mike. I did see Rolando Blackmon give Mike plenty of defensive temper tantrums and we all seen AI cross Mike up. Dude wasn’t perfect, he was just better than everybody else 98% of the time.
    As for 6’9 point guards, the next one will be the first one not named Magic and it’s been over twenty years. They keep lookin for the next Mike, they don’t even pretend to look for the next Magic. Read into that…

  • doc

    Its plenty of Magic better than Mike guys in the world.And to me like AB said he aint that far off.

  • Maynard

    I’m on board with much of what Austin writes on this site, but not this one. It’s not that I vehemently disagree, it’s that I just don’t see where the rationale is in what he wrote. The fact that Jordan had some 30-something % shooting nights and that the Bulls lost to some bad teams occasionally makes him no less an icon. And though Magic and Bird were also legends, they were not on par with Jordan as a brand, as a household name, as an icon, in terms of mystique, and in terms of complete dominance of the sport. Jordan’s celebrity was nearly peerless in the 90’s; the man helped define culture in that decade. I understand the need to stir things up and put things out there aren’t just the status quo, but this to me is a reach. I do feel like you have something here, I just don’t feel like it was properly expressed.

    I will say that your stories are great. I think Toccara would render me speechless as well. And I’ve been about five feet from Jordan and was also frozen like Han Solo.

  • tbone

    guys who are old enough to remember him playing more than jsut playoff games will agree 100% with this article.

    its all you young ass kids who only saw highlights that will argue.

    i know it;s imposible to watch ALL of his games, but he did play some bad ones. he was a great player on bad teams, and he was called selfish MANY times.

    the shoe hype and highlight reels have made him iconic. you tell yourself bs enough times and you WILL believe it.

  • http://www.fiba.com Pathological Lier

    Jordan was a super freak of nature.You could take all the nickname’s of these current players,and Jordan fit’s them all.Mind ya’ll,I hated this man and couldn’t wait for him to retire.But the fact r facts…

  • JCarr

    Dime fire him… LOL jk
    MJ is like Jesus he came, dominated, saved (basketball), and left his mark on this planet. And now you (Austin) crucify Jordan!!! WTF!!!!

  • wanabballer

    Ok so i read the whole article to find out he had to work for it?
    isn’t that evident when he got cut from his HS Varsity?

  • jzsmoove

    Jordan is bigger than life cuz he is essentially a superhero to many. He did unnatural things. He did destroyed competition at his best. He toyed with the rest of them. Jordan was the embodiment of the BTK Killer. Nothing is gonna change this. He was put on a pedestal and kept his mouth closed. He didnt pissed off haters because of what he has to say, about himself or others. Haters hated him cuz he won. And let the winning speak for himself. There was no self-absortion.

    As I previously stated, I read DIME columns first so that my opinion of it is unbiased. And I wasnt surprised to see that AUSTIN BURTON penned this one. It is a well written column, it just happens to be ignorant.

  • kevin k

    this retarded article is overrated…

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    Overrated is the wrong word for what you think Jordan is, Austin. Because, you would still rate him number one.

    I don’t even think he could be described as the one best at any one thing. Passing, shooting, dribbling, defense, dunking, scoring (maybe?) – but here’s the thing, he was great at all those things. Not good, great. What was he best at? Knowing himself, and knowing his opponent, oh, and winning.

    He was the best player ever because he couldn’t be stopped. He played best in the biggest games, and didn’t let anybody change his game.

    Knowledge of self, knowledge of opponent, knowledge of his teammates. Those are three things that are way underrated. He was the best at those.

    “Not that much better than the other guys” is a laughable idea. So you’re saying he’s better than the group of players that would fill out the best players of all time right? GOAT.

    I wanna be like mike.

  • Billy Sunday

    “Once Michael gets up there he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just hang up here in the air for a while, just sit back.’ Then all of a sudden, he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll 360. No I changed my mind. I’ll go up on the other side.’ He’s just incredible.”

    –Magic Johnson, referring to the aerial artistry performed by Michael Jordan

    “I can’t believe he hit that shot. I don’t know how he stayed in the air that long.”
    –Cleveland’s Brad Daughtery, on Michael Jordan and “The Shot” to propel Chicago to victory in Game 5 of the 1989 Eastern Conference First Round between the Bulls and the Cavs

    “That play was ‘Give the ball to Michael and everyone else get the @##@#% out of the way.”
    –Chicago Bulls head coach Doug Collins, on “The Shot”

    “I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
    –Boston’s Larry Bird, on Michael Jordan after he scored 63 points against the Celtics in Game 2 of the 1986 Eastern Conferece First Round

    “It wasn’t even one of my best creative shots.”
    –Michael Jordan, on his soaring, midair, change-of-direction layup against the L.A. Lakers in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals.

    “You don’t hesitate with Michael, or you’ll end up on some poster in a gift shop someplace.”
    –Felton Spencer, on Michael Jordan

    “The Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan’s three-point explosion in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals against Portland is easily one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. As he made his sixth straight, he winked directly at (broadcast partner) Mike (Fratello) and me and held his palms up in a shrug, as if to say, ‘What can I do?'”
    –Marv Albert

    “I’ve reached the pinnacle of my career. I just feel that I don’t have anything else to prove.”
    –Michael Jordan, announcing on October 6, 1993 his retirement from the Chicago Bulls

    “I’m back.”
    –Michael Jordan, announcing on March 18, 1995 his return to the Chicago Bulls

    “This is a day that I had hoped would never come. It has to be the toughest day in the history of the Chicago Bulls. It’s a tough day for Chicago.”
    –Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, on Michael Jordan’s retirement, January 13, 1999

  • Ian

    michorizo
    you have to go with the scoring on percentages lets say wilt scored 67% of his teams pts that 100 is around 65-70 pts with todays scoring.

    its like babe ruth and his bombs a dude would have to hit 200 bombs today for it to the same.

    now on mj imo hes overrated top sg ever sure but player hell no. everyone is talking about the 90s stars that didnt win a ring because of mj but let me ask you this take the top ten players of the 90s and only mj and malone had teammates in the top ten (pip and stock). now people like to bring up he won with longley and harper yeah true but didnt he win with the best rebounder and defensive pf , the best sf in the game at both ends , arguably the best coach ever , the best sixth man what more do you want. that damn team was so good they won 55 games and made it to a game 7 in the second round vs the knicks without his airness. i read a post saying that hakeem was lucky fuck that if anything the two times that he was going to face a team with true low post players 95 rockets and 99 spurs he wasnt in the league or got knocked out by orlando. please dont bring up weakass ewing. he peaked when detroit , lakers and boston sucked no he didnt beat them when they were good. people overpraise all the shit he did like that 60 in boston when he got his ass swept wtf and u guys bash bron for a meaningless gamewinner. one more thing he didnt have half the competition there is today at the 2guard spot.
    still he did deliver despite all the lucky breaks. best 2guard ever but player hell nooooo. question why is that everytime there is the best ever disc people always say well when they win 6 and not 11?

  • Ian

    DurrtyInjun
    lol so wait the 95 series and washington dont count?? why because u made up that rule? dude if he woulda won in 95 would you say jordan had 7 rings? yeah so leave that weakass argument home. if you played and lost you lost period no excuses.

  • Mr. Wet

    One advantage Mike had was he began to win when the league got younger. When Lakers, Sixers, Celtics and Pistons started getting old, Mike started winning championships. Also, the average player age in the NBA started to drop in the years Mike started winning.

    Although this is not his fault, compare teams that Mike beat in the playoffs and championships against the teams that beat him in the playoffs. Not even close in regards to talent level.

    Point blank, Mike was a scoring machine when he was losing in the playoffs but that was it. Now after taking a beating from some of the best teams ever, Mike gained experience that only a few more recent to the league players could claim. These players that were coming in the league at a much younger age had nothing for Mike. He appeared on such a higher level than his opponents not only because he was gifted physically but because some of the greatest to play the game showed him how to raise his game while kicking his ass!

    Mike may be the greatest player of all time to some but if I’m building a team, I am not starting with Jordan. I will take Magic everyday plus Sunday. I would not take Mike because who would you pick second? Mike has to have the whole offense work around him so getting another Superstar won’t work. Roll players fit the bill better with a MJ team.

    Now with Magic, you can have as many stars as you want because Magic doesn’t dominate his teams lineup. He lifts every other position on his team. He is the focal point true but he enhances the players around him and to me, more times than not, I would take a player like that first period.

    I think Mike was an incredible talent and all around player but I think the G.O.A.T. depends on what you look for in a player.

    I say Mike was the best SG ever in NBA history but I think Magic is the best PG to ever play the game and the only player who could play all 5 positions on the floor effectively.

  • Nimit

    Great read.. Couldn’t agree more on the LeBron comparison.

    MJ did not really have a jumper till he was 28, he was not really the best teammate till about the same age..

    the same way James does not have a jumper yet, but talking about being a good teammate..James is way ahead of Jordan at age 23

  • heartbreaker85

    the simple difference between mj and kobe:

    mj made everything look easy. the fadeaway, the reverse lay-up.

    kobe always looks like he’s going for a hail mary shot to bail himself/his team out of tight spots.

    oh,

    and MJ was THE alpha dog on those six rings.

    kobe was only the “alpha dog” on his 4th, he was putting up 20s in his 2nd and 3rd rings, but you just know shaq-prime was the one guys were worried about.

  • Spencers Mom

    I think that the most under-rated part of MJ is that he made his team mates, coaching staff and ownership much better than they were. Pippin would not be half the player he was without MJ. Pip literally quit on his team as soon as MJ was gone. The rest of the team were never as good either although better than they were. Jackson would not be half the coach he is without being smart enough to learn how to deal with players by watching and learning from him. Getting 30 mil from management was just stunning, and well earned. Few players made team mates better (Magic/Bird) but coaches & management!? This is where MJ stands alone.

  • SWAT

    out of the whole article im trippin how austin meets famous people on a reg and WIDEBODY toccara is who made u speechless…LMAO! cmon thts a joke right…u tellin me that at all the parties u go to shes one of the baddest girls there. Ha! i doubt tht fam.

  • Chise

    @79

    That last sentence gave me the chills. Good ass point kid.

    That being said. This article pissed me off when it mentioned LeBron in literally the same sentence as Magic, Bird, Oscar, and Kobe. Then threw in the whole (after he wins some ships thing) like that’s actually something easy to do.

  • schoops

    I’ve been reading this site basically since it what hoopstv.com and I’ve never said anything like this, but I just can’t take it anymore…

    HOW THE FU*K does Austin Burton have a job? There is only one thing I can’t stand about this site, and it’s his columns. Dude this is absolutely ridiculous. I know you are required to write for Dime, but honestly do us a favor and don’t. This is not to say that there haven’t been decent/columns by him from time to time, but this dude is like the main writer and is more miss than hit. He’s shooting like 30% on his column, he is the Larry Hughes of Dime/ bball writing.

    Dime, please make it stop.

  • E.J. Garcia

    I totally agree with this article.Jordan is overrated!
    I’m not a hater.I was a big fan of Jordan and got three different pairs of Air Jordans. Jordan is overrated because of his Air Jordan mystique and his 6 NBA titles!But Kobe is a better player! Kenny Smith from TNT said Kobe is a better offensive player. Greg Anthony,former ESPN analyst,says Kobe is a better offensive player. Stacey Augmon,former Blazer and defensive specialist,said on Kobe’s ESPN Sportscentury segment that Kobe was harder to guard than Jordan because with Kobe, he said he never knew what to expect because of all of the weapons in his arsenal. If Kobe’s a better offensive player than Jordan,and their both equal on the defensive end(both 1st Team All-NBA),then wouldn’t that make Kobe a better player!Let’s look at the 3 main skills in basketball-shooting,dribbling,and passing. Kobe’s a better shooter,better dribbler,and just as good a passer than Jordan was!So wouldn’t that make Kobe better than Jordan? If you took away Michael’s Air Jordan brand and half of his NBA titles,he would just be another superstar!

  • KnicksFan84

    As I read this I was listening to 50 Cent’s Cocaine song and figured you must have listened to it too while writing it ;)

  • rk2

    dime and everybody in this forum fails to look at this one fact that makes(and will continue to make) mj stand out from kobe and lebron…6-0 (undefeated) in the finals…a true testament to jordan’s will to win on the highest level…kobe and lebron both have critical l’s in that column.

  • NC

    At the end of the day, MJ isn’t respected by the world. He’s bloody revered. At his prime in the 90’s, there were kids in the Congo with #23 Chicago Bulls Jerseys. His very existence brought us the players we see today, Kobe, LeBron, Dwyane Wade even Allen Iverson. The reason Michael is the greatest of all time, is that you simply can’t measure his influence. From the court, to the sneakers, gatorade, boardroom, media, etc. REGARDLESS of what has ever been said about MJ, one thing is for sure. He was ALWAYS, more substance than hype.

  • Mike…

    dude are you sure yore not smoking weed when you write this up? your high man… are you sure were watching the same NBA? get lost..

  • Kaya Mann

    I remember watching MJ win his first title – Against my favorite Laker Team in 1991… I always thought if Byron & Magic aren’t hurt with ‘Hammy’ injuries MJ waits one more year for a title!! Remember Magic still had Worthy,Scott, AC Green, Mychal Thompson a young Vlade Divac and rookie Elden Campbell – after Byron & Magic got hurt Worthy had to make it respectable…. (that same fall an ex girlfriend calls me and tells me Magic tested positive for H.I.V. – i’m like I know you probably hate me, but why call with this horrible joke) – Injuries are part of the game and MJ gets another nod with his durability!! After his broken foot MJ only had tweaks and knee strains over his career!!! Magic, Bird and Barkley all had game stopping injuries.
    Here is another point – How many championships would Magic have won with Scottie/Harper, Rodman/Grant, Paxson/Kerr, Cartwright/Wennigton/Longley??

  • Amos Leak

    NOW..BABE RUTH IS NOT THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME..I DON’T THINK MIKE IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME..BUT HE’S VERY CLOSE.

  • utahJZZ

    Alotta ignorant young kids assume that Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T, without seeing him play an actual game.

    I’m a Jazz fan, I bleed Blue & White, and ppl may think that I hate MJ for beating us in the 90’s, but hear this out…

    Michael Jordan along with Lebron (LeHYPE) James had the Association given to them, this is why I respect Kobe Bryant. He was a late lottery selection, and had to work his way into Phil’s rotation. That ontop with the countless amount of haters Kobe’s gone through makes him seem more down to earth then MJ or LeHYPE.

    Some of the awards that MJ got were fucking ridiculous. HOnestly an ESPY for athlete of the century? DOMINIQUE WILKINS BEAT MJ IN THE DUNK CONTEST, THAT FUCKING JUMP FROM THE FREE THROW LINE IS JUST AS DISGUSTINGLY HYPED AS LEBRON’S 3 VS. ORLANDO. Scottie Pippen should have won at least two Finals MVP’s, I got them on film, Michael took soo many shots to get his numbers, and the bulls honestly fucked Scottie Pippen with KUkoc.

    I know a countless amount of MJ fans are gonna reply and hate, but honestly MJ wasn’t that good. Wilt Chamberlian’s the G.O.A.T, then I’d say Magic Johnson, then MJ.

  • UncheckedAggression

    Sorry dude, but you’re the most ignorant Jazz fan I have ever heard from. But I respect you for this reason: you held onto your hate for MJ this long. Every Jazz fan I know (quite a few, believe it or not) has come to realize that those great Jazz teams were unlucky–they had to deal with Jordan in his prime. And boy, he was in his prime for a long-ass time.

    The league wasn’t handed to Jordan. He fucking ripped it away from Magic, Larry, and anyone else that stepped into his path. Jordan was disliked by many but was undeniably the best out there. In the end, there are few arguments against his being the best. Ask the players that faced MJ. If you don’t want to listen to fans and the hype, just ask the players. That’s all I have to say.

  • LA`Clipperz

    @ utahJZZ

    I kinda agree wit wat you say bro, but the league wasn’t really given to Jordan. He took it, and then got the hype.
    Lebron James is a completely different situation where david stern cant get off his dick

  • reguy

    michael jordan shot 23.4 shots a game for his career and shot 49% from the feild and averaged 30.1 points agame. to say he didnt have the best shot, or shooting touch is a lie to anyone who loves basketball. In the 1987 season for two months he played point guard for his team and averaged 40 points and 17 assists and 2.1 steals 6.7 rebounds thats god like. MJ= G.o.a.t

  • sh!tfaced

    The better winners often are the guys who were losers… and in MJ’s case, that’s what makes him the GOAT.

  • 2pmjunho

    I really don’t know what the point of this article is

  • Ian

    unchecked
    mj didnt rip the league from anyone he started winning when the other teams got old and their stars got old.

    kaya mann
    dude if u read my post u can see im not a big fan of the man i always talk about that super team jordan had around him when some fools try to say that he carried scrubs. now you made one big ass mistake if someone had a better team around him than jordan it was magic so dont even try to imply that jordan had a better team than him.

  • leftfoot

    Incendiary, divisive article! Though there isn’t one unarguable way of determining what constitutes “G.O.A.T”…. I had the pleasure of witnessing MJ’s (8-year?) reign over the NBA during the 90s; and, as a real fan then, I wasn’t overly academic (taking note of the rougher D, league of centers, rule differences, etc) much in the way that younger audiences today are amazed at Kobe’s scoring streaks and uncanny knack for making difficult Js, or by Lebron’s unworldly physique, explosiveness and PER prowess. To concede that MJ conquered a far more physical, but less potent league that had never seen the kind of versatility and young athleticism in present day NBA teams is of course, being CIRCUMSPECT of every other NBA superlegend who ever made the 50-best-players in history. (And, further along this juxtaposition, why some “critics” contend that Nowitzki is better than Bird, or CP3 far superior to KJ, Archibald or Zeke). My rejoinder is that it is ONLY MJ who dominated (not necessarily won it) disparate eras of NBA basketball successively and with such world-ready impact it lorded over all else…or everyone. In an era where Magic, Bird, DR.J, Moses and Isiah peaked, MJ was on a SPECTACULAR offensive and defensive tear; In an era of sluggish offense, but hardened defensive sets, MJ WILLED his team to six trophies, and GOBBLED up just about every important competitor & accolade. In a perimeter-oriented league, MJ even in his 40s LIGHTED up the league for 20-22ppg (scoring even 50 once), and had the media embrace the Wizards anew. MJ is a deity.

  • doc

    Look at these fools.He ripped the league from magic and Bird?He aint win shit until his 7th year.Like somebody said earlier.Mike was the one of his era but the teams fell off when he reached his prime.He went from having to beat Mchale and Zeke in the playoffs to having to beat Ewing and Starks.Get the fuck outta here!Any oldhead will tell you them 80’s team were better and the 80’s Celts,80’Lakers,and 83 Sixers will bust Mike and them ass.

  • doc

    Just like they did including the 80’s Pistons,until they got old.

  • UncheckedAggression

    That’s just incorrect doc. Yeah man, whatever–Jordan didn’t have any legendary competition. I guess it only makes it legendary if the other teams win every now and then? So much for total domination. ’83 Sixers!? You just lost any credibility you had on that suggestion.

    It doesn’t mean anything that a few dudes that read articles on this website have ridiculous opinions (in fact I think that is what these comments are for) so I won’t bother arguing with the few out there that “refuse to get on MJ’s nuts.”

    Have a nice day. And I’ll be laughing at that Sixers line for a long time, man. That is classic Dimemag commentary right there.

  • marco

    @prof tx how was shaq and wilt thrown into this? first of all, rules were changed because of wilt’s dominance but whose to say that shaq wouldn’t have been able to dominate the same way or even better playing with those rules? and those numbers were produced in a time where the FG% of perimeter guys were lower…therefore more rebounds and more chances for wilt to score..and lastly, wilt has what? 2 rings? Shaq has 4. I’m not saying Shaq is better than Wilt..i’m just saying that when it comes to comparing players (Shaq/Wilt, MJ/Kobe) don’t just look at the gaudy stats..look at the overall impact..with regards to this article, he did not do anything other than to state the obvious..no one here says mike drops 60 without even breaking a sweat, or than mike’s team always had an 82-0 record..MJ is the GOAT. Take away all the exaggerations done by the media, and you can still see that he is.

  • Ian

    unchecked that sixers team could play the 90s bulls and imo beat them moses would shit on rodman and longley.

  • Kaya Mann

    Ian – I’m not implying MJ had better talent – I’m implying Magic was a player who made his talent better (more than his Airness)
    To say MJ made his teammates better wasn’t untrue, it’s just he didn’t bring out the best in every player like Magic did
    Another tidbit mentioned earlier in another post but not stressed enough is that Magic had all around versatility!!!
    Magic played point, power forward & center vs the Sixers and had like 42, 14 and 10 in the deciding game with Kareem out!!! If MJ did some Sh&t like that ESPN would’ve put a screen on the Moon so everyone could see the Replays 24/7!!!
    Also check out Worthy’s numbers after Magic retired!!!

  • Ian

    kaya
    i personally rank magic ahead of jordan in an alltime list and yes i agree magic with 4 scrubs would do more than mj and 4 scrubs i might be alone on this one but if i take the top ten players ever (kobe isnt one btw hes top 20 not ten for me) and gave then the same 4 players jordans squad would prob finish last or maybe birds but pgs and centers can do a bit more to help a team than a sg or sf. again jordan is a top 3 player ever i just rather have some other players if im starting a team. an alltime list is based on what you accomplished with the talent given around you. example shaq ranks higher than hakeem and the admiral alltime but i rather have either one than shaq in their primes.

  • wtf

    I just gotta say with no jumpshot jordan averaged 37.1 points per game in his 3rd season after being injured his whole second season. What other guard did that. You guys are crazy saying he’s not #1 and he had more and better competition than than the players today have. And u gotta remember jordan demolished some stacked teams to get his rings it wasn’t easy. And talent wise those teams where always better than the bulls.

  • leftfoot

    Every one is entitled to an opinion, flawed or otherwise. The thing is, getting four scrubs (who are they?) to play with Magic gets you JUST that: Magic most likely making a good dish or there, making a good finger roll, a babyhook here or there, making his scrub teammates feel a tad bit better than their scrub selves. Now, if you had MJ with those same scrubs, MJ would definitely take it upon himself to dominate, score plenty, drive a lot, not settle, dish when in a crowded situation, provide hustle and competitive helpside and strong side/M2M/all-world Defense. In a broken play w/ 4 scrubs, MJ is just unparalleled, and THIS Matters. IMO [as well], mj’s mix of court awareness, talent and Off/def competitiveness is an EDGE over the many hackneyed/worn-out/sloppy criticisms people throw at him. Does he really need to make his teammates THAT better to be better than some [a few]? Does he need the EXACT competition others faced before, when in fact, he competed individually very well against these supposed “80s teams we revere?” Misplaced misplaced misplaced…

  • S-SiN

    nice try. now go clean your room.

  • Spangatanga

    MJ had the X-factor, he inspired you to get better, he retired with all the drama, returned to the league and won more championships.
    He was a revolution.

    Is Michael Jackson the best singer in the world, the true king of pop?
    A matter of taste… but whatever he did, the masses seemed to love him.

    MJ (jordan) was in the right place, at the right time, with right team, had the talent, the work-ethic, the looks, the charisma, the dunks, the technique, the right sponsor, manager, etc… he ALL made the right dissicions to become what he is today.
    And MJ is maybe a far better businessman than he is a basketball player.
    He made you believe…

    Compare this, with all former and current players in the NBA.
    Do you want to spend $500 on lmtd. ed. Larry Bird’s?
    Magic Johnson’s space jam?
    Kobe’s media approach?
    Lebron James’s shooting or on the court leadership?

    MJ HAD IT ALL!!

  • SagJism

    @33. perftect point and thats what i think dime was trying to relay but you know the phobes on this site.

    GOAT, So he is head and shoulder abouve Oscar, magic, bird, Dr J, Wilt Kobe – GTFOH, he is good that main thing with mike is he perfected publicity which is mainly what propels himn above the thers and gives him this aura of invincibility. Mike is good and is definitly in the arguement for the GOAT but with baskbetball, its a team sprt and depending on where you land and that teams schema yopu couldbe the greatest player ever and it not be known due to the team concept that your on. Fortunately for Mike he was allowed to control his own destriny other players are not afforded that option for whatever reason. If you lived during the time, Oscar was Lebron and MJ mixed into one player but a lot of his career didnt have TCV exposure so you dont see how well he played but for most of theplayers in his era including Jerry West, Oscar was Jesus with a basketball. Can t be too much more perfect than that.

  • SagJism

    @97, I can agree with that, Also Bill Russell could be considered the GOAT as well.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    I remember when i had my first drink- Brenen Huff a.k.a. NiteHawk

  • Ian

    leftfoot
    no jordan didnt compete very well with the 80s teams i dont know where u got that from. he got into the playoffs with under .500 record to get owned by boston and detroit. with jordan and 4 scrubs you get 60 pts and a loss.

    wtf
    that nicks says it all wtf man what team did jordan beat was more talented than the bulls??? what team was stacked??

  • wtf

    91 they beat the pistons to get to the finals in which all the starters averaged double digits, the pistons had isaih thomas 16.2 ppg, joe dumars 20.4, bill laimbeer 11.0, mark aguire 14.2, dennis rodman 12.5 rpg, vinnie johnson 11.7ppg,

    Lakers
    magic johnson, james worthy, byron scott, sam perkins, vlade divac, terry teagle, a.c. green

    Bulls

    the bulls only had three people avg over 10 points per game that year which tells that the other teams where better.

    jordan,pippen, grant, b.j armstrong,cartwright, so yes the teams were better than the bulls but they weren’t better than jordan, i mean i could go on forever. but this is why jordan is legend he never back down even though he took his l’s he still won over teams that were better than his team. he found a way to win against the odds and thats why he was so great. you can’t compare wilt he was just the tallest guy on the court and was outdone by bill russell so no more wilt talk. the reason MJ is so coveted is because of his athleticism the position he played and how he played it. at the end of the day you can’t deny him. and yes he needed one piece to the puzzle and that was pippen, magic didn’t have 4 scrubs ya’ll buggin how many of his teammates are in the hall of fame? then they aren’t scrubs. lmao check your facts before you start spewing nonsen.

  • Stan

    OK here’s the thing… Jordan is probably the best player many of us will see in our lifetimes. Problem is whats always been the problem.. different players.. different eras…different ways to compare

    I’ll use Magic Johnson as an example…

    Magic led his teams to championships just like Jordan, and had many more assists. He didn’t score as much as Jordan but thats wasn’t what he needed to do to win. Jordan did.

    They both did what they needed to do to win.

    Magic came into a good team and started winning, Jordan struggled until the supporting cast was built. Proving that one man is not the whole game no matter how great.

    Its a good arguement… who is the greatest player of all time.. but its difficult to answer because the game changes all the time. Training and medicine has bred better athletes, don’t get me started on steroids.

    Every era has players that have dominated. Jordan did is during the explosion of national TV and cable where more people could see him. I was a teen on the east coast in the 80’s and the odds of me being able to see Magic play were slim to none. Media has built up more a base for people to watch Jordan than Magic had.

    Is Jordan the best player I’ve seen play? Yes I believe he is.

    Do I think he is the greatest player by a wide margin? No,I think there were many players almost as great, when you factor all the variables anyway.

  • Student Of The Game

    i love this article. i can honestly say that. Jordan may in fact be the G.O.A.T. but it’s not like he was flawless and had the “perfect” game.

  • Matt

    i want to cut my feet off whenever people mention lebron in the same category as jordan.

  • E.J. Garcia

    I agree with Ian and Kaya. Magic is the greatest of all-time! Magic had a lot more triple-doubles than Jordan did!
    End of discussion! He dominated by passing,scoring,and rebounding while Jordan only dominated scoring.Magic can play all 5 positions while Jordan can only play 3. Magic won 5 titles against the great Celtic,76er,and Piston teams while Jordan won 6 titles against lesser teams. A lot of people think Jordan won those titles all by himself. But he always played with 2 other all-stars in Scottie Pippen and either Horace Grant or Dennis Rodman. He had great help during his Championship runs!

  • Ian

    wtf
    please dont tell someone else to check the facts when you dont even know wtf you are talking about.
    the bulls beat the pistons once after three straight knockdowns are you comparing the 80s lakers to the one that made the finals??? the only way you can compare teammates is by seeing them play without their best player.
    what happened to the lakers after magic left???
    what happened to the pistons after isiah???
    what happened to the celts after bird???
    they all sucked
    now what happened to the bulls after jordan left in 94??? hum let me thing 55 wins second round taking the knicks to 7 games. so scrubs did that??? THOSE ARE FACTS OF SHIT THAT HAPPENED.
    againnnnn
    the bulls had the best defensive pf and rebounder in the game.
    the bulls had the best sf and prob overall defender in the game.
    the bulls had the best three point shooter in the game.
    the bulls had the best coach in the game.
    the bulls had the best 6th man in the game.
    so please you can say jordan is the best ever and have enough to back it up but dont ever say he carried scrubs because he didnt 94 and 95 proved it.

    check your facts.

  • fallinup

    Someone name me one bad part about Michael’s game. What was the one thing teams could exploit???

    Pfft….Yeah.

  • Bermuda Boy

    One thing Jordan couldn’t do for his team? Umm…come off the bench? Umm…be a coach? Shoot, his only flaw is that he couldn’t clone himself. Jordan IS the greatest of all time. Not a single damn flaw (as to be reasonably expected of a guard anyway)

  • DAZEFROMDAHAZE22

    I BEG TO DIFFER BUDDY!!!

    HIS AIRNESS WILL DROP 65 “AT WILL”…THE WAY HE LOOKED ON THE COURT HE DINT HAVE TO DO SHIT JUST NATURAL BODY MOVEMENTS

    OH AND BY THE WAY…………

    I TOO AM ON THAT KUSH

  • jc

    All the Bulls championship squads ran 10 deep, a couple years it was 11. In particular, the Bulls somehow managed to sign basically every veteran big man with a mid-range jumper for half a decade.

    I remember before the Bulls won a chip MJ averaged 37 (not a typo) one season and the Bulls got owned in the playoffs anyway. All the sportswriters were wondering if Jerry Reinsdorf’s cheap-ass would pony up to pay for some help. They called the team “Michael and the Jordanairres.”

    I remember reading an article in SI about “new coach Phil Jackson” and his unorthodox coaching methods (meditation and yoga for players), and whether the players would accept it, and could it work.

    GOAT? Ya.

    Oh and to the person who said Magic couldn’t take over a game…puh-leeze.

  • leftfoot

    actually, NO ONE here is disputing that the Bulls 96-98 edition wasn’t a locked and loaded team (albeit only if you consider Judd B, Simpkins, Parish, Caffey, Haley, Wennington, Randy “T.R. Dunn 2000″ Brown, as people who’ll really turn up the proverbial firepower), but you have to respect the fact that yes, as soon as MJ learned to win with his teammates, that was pretty much it. He dominated thereon, and, yes, was never dethroned, only relinquished for lack of a better motivation. Unfortunately, we really cant prove the 4scrubs + mike or magic argument. Tell you what, though, i do wanna line up Magic with a 4th-year Pippen and Grant, Paxson, Hansen, Cartwright, young Armstrong, Cliff Levingston, Purdue, Stacy King and Scott Williams, Hopson and Tucker. I wanna see him 3-peat w/ that all-star, 10-deep (or even 11) lineup!! i really really do. is a five-peat even conceivable!??!

  • Sweet English

    Micheal is bigger than Basketball.

    I don’t know about Micheal because i play basketball.

    I play basketball because of Micheal.

  • Sweet English

    ‘Whoa Whoa, I didnt know Dan Akroyd was in this picture…’

    Space Jam, Classic. Dare you question it again Burton and i will strike thee down with the rath of angered gods.

  • Helios

    the people who talk about wilt as the greatest do not know the game of basketball. During wilts time the only guy close to his hight was Russel, and he was still about 5 inches taller and a lot stronger, wilt did not play ball, he just dropped the ball in the hoop. but he couldn’t dribble, he couldn’t shoot from further than two feet etc etc. that is why russel gave him problems, because wilt had no real basketball skill. now that that is said, the reason that michael is considered the greatest of all time (individually) is because he came into the league and dominated from the onset on both ends of the floor. People want to talk about magic or larry or any of the other greats, and thats fine and dandy, but how many of them dominated on both ends of the floor? Want to know who is the only player who was not a forward or center to have more than 200 blocks and 100 steals in a season? MJ. MJ was the first guard to ever record those numbers, and he did it 3 times. On his best year by the numbers, he got almost every accolade the league could hand out, in a league that hated him. That year he averaged 40 points for more than half the season, ending with an average of 37.1, leading the league in steals as well. That in itself sums it up, he did that from day one, he played exceptionally well on both ends of the floor, all the time, till his body couldn’t do it anymore. How many times did magic win defensive player of the year, or larry or dr. j? they didn’t. just like jerry west, and elgin baylor where great scorers, they where also defensive liabilities. MJ led the league in scoring 10 times, and is the only guard in league history to do it more than 5 times. That is what separates him from the pack. ask yourself this question, yes, I would love to have larry bird or magic distribute the ball for me, but would you trust them to guard the opponents best player? the honest answer is no. People who talk about different era’s and the freaks of nature that exist today, make me laugh. MJ didn’t stop playing that long ago, he played with some of todays stars, and played well, even though his body had aged. When you get a player that can impose his will on both ends of the court, consistently for the span of time that he did, then it is easy to see why got the numbers he did. There where other players in the league that had comparable physical traits, why didn’t other people do the same things, and I’m not talking team accolades, I’m standing on his numbers alone. This is a cute article, but to be overrated, you have to be portrayed as something that is not true. and frankly, it is too easy to show why MJ is the best we probably will ever see this lifetime.

  • Bruse Wayne

    To Whom it may concern:

    Who ever hired this retard and allowed him to publish this garbage rambling of nonsense should be fired immediately. As for the character who actually wrote this asinine jumble of words, you should never be a part of or participate in a basketball and or sport related topics, ever.

    Good Evening

    B.Wayne

  • Angel

    If you are hating on Mike and you own a pair of Jordans slap yourself. He hasn’t played the game in how many years and his shoes are STILL HOT! His game spoke for itself. Marketing doesn’t have crap to do with him being able to handle players on the court. HE IS G.O.A.T. Basketball without Mike please get serious!!!

  • will

    people common down what i think what austin was saying was
    that MJ is a icon can`t deny that he was great but at the
    same time there were Magic,Bird,and those before them and
    there be those after MJ we know MJ is a bad Motherfuc@#$%&…what if Magic would have never got sick or Bird back went bad…probably would have won a couple more titles…did a lot of you guys see Magic or Bird play in their prime…Magic won a title as a rookie playing out of position MVP of the championship…read and comprehend
    Magic-5 NBA titles,3 time MVP,finals MVP 3 times also played Bird for a college title as a sophomore and won
    Bird-3 NBA titles,3 time MVP,finals MVP 2 times…all he
    was saying they all going to leave some type of legacy from Kobe to Lebron once he start winning titles not a title,but titles…Jordan said it there were great ones
    before him and there are going to be great ones after him