The debate is growing and will continue to evolve as new NBA players are defined and absorbed by the fans. However, despite the rapid introduction of several great players in the last two decades, a certain person still enters our thoughts when we discuss who is/was the greatest of all time. A discussion on such a topic couldn’t even be understood without mention of who, in my opinion, is the greatest basketball player of all time. Of course I’m talking about Michael Jordan.
Statistics were compared, numbers added, processed, and thrown into various equations with the expectation of a solid answer. it never happens. It seems that only your interpretation and your intuition could give you the answer. Some of today’s players get into the equation simply by putting up the numbers, having rings and dazzling the audience. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are the closest candidates to even be compared to MJ in my opinion. Kobe has won the battle for many important stats, including championships. LeBron is on his way to building his reputation beyond any doubt. But if we take a moment to acknowledge that they all have great and meaningful stats, and then focus on the dynamics of the game, then perhaps we can see things more clearly.
I am very impressed by how Michael Jordan was able to not only understand the game of basketball, how he saw the court in any given scenario, but how he affected people while he was playing. Michael was able to create a response from his teammates. He understood his abilities, his mindset, his weaknesses, and his vision, and was able to lead his team to numerous victories like a true champion would. The Bulls of the 90s were not the best team of the time from a statistical point of view, nor from a player-by-player evaluation point of view. However, the energy and dynamics of that team were unparalleled. This can be attributed to the energy that Michael emanated.
Michael Jordan was not interested in points, attention, comparisons or anything like that. If it was, he wouldn’t have let anything distract him from the game when he decided to pursue his baseball career. He just felt like he had accomplished what he had set out to accomplish with the game. He came back out of his love for the game and maybe just to see if he still had that rare special ability to control the pace of the game. He surely did and retreated with remaining steam. Too many of these players today are focused on beating their stats and outshining him instead of using their obvious talents to improve their game, win championships, and improve the quality of their teams and the game in general.
MJ is in a league of his own when it comes to passion, respect and effectiveness in the game of basketball. For this reason I and many others around the world crown Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time.