Sports Column: View of “His Airness” is Overblown

Michael Jordan is widely recognized as the greatest basketball player to ever play. He is certainly one of the greatest, but he is overrated. He had an illustrious career, winning six championships in the span of nine years while scoring the most points per game out of all players for 11 seasons. However, with the release of a documentary known as “The Last Dance” that was centered around “his airness” himself, a lot was revealed about the type of person Jordan was. 

One major controversy was letting his competitive spirit get the best of him. He had a nack for talking trash to his own teammates in an attempt to give them the winning mindset he always had. This led to a lot of inner turmoil within the Bulls franchise, and even went as far as some guys opting to play elsewhere. Is this really how a great player acts?

Another point many overlook is the fact that the Bulls were still a solid team even when Jordan retired in 1993. They remained a 55 win team and even made it deep into the second round playoffs, but lost in a game 7. Although having Jordan maybe would’ve changed the second round exit, Horace Grant and Pippen were able to hold their own and still found success. LeBron James, who has been in contention for Jordan’s greatest of all time spot for some time now, was traded in 2010 from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat. In 2009, he lead a mediocre Cavs’ roster to 66 wins. After being traded, they went on to win barely 20 games in the 2011 season. Lebron’s effect was far greater on the team he left when compared to Jordan’s.

Now, some may argue that Jordan is the greatest player ever because he was dominant on both offense and defense and holds a staggering amount of accolades. Whereas he was a phenomenal player, there wasn’t really an all-star of his caliber in the league to match him. He faced players like the high-flyer Clyde Drexler and speedy John Starks, as well as the great scorer Karl Malone. Those guys were good, but not once were they good enough to give Jordan and his squad a run for their money. The NBA in the 90’s lacks in regards to today’s NBA that features a variety of dominant players in each conference that make the game competitive and fun to watch.

I would like it to be known that I do not mean to discredit Jordan of his incredible feats and accomplishments. Those speak for themselves. However, due to his toxic traits, minimized effect and little to no competition, many basketball fans overrate him. I love the sport of basketball. I keep up with stats and do extensive research for fun, and the evidence is prominent. I’ll always be a fan of Jordan’s, but his legacy is exaggerated.

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