Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Old Bulls Still the Best

I happened to be flipping through the channels recently when I stumbled upon an old Bulls game from the Michael Jordan era. These Bulls embodied everything there was to love about professional sports, especially basketball, and reminded me of a childhood where the NBA was king of the sports universe. It didn't hurt that the Bulls had the greatest athlete in history on the team.

Watching MJ made me realize that simply looking at his statistics doesn't encompass how ridiculous of a player he really was. To truly understand his level on the court, you had to watch him. Just watch him dominate, especially in the playoffs, in an era of uber-competitive basketball where hand-checking wasn't called, and you see how amazing he really was. I could go on for days on just how ridiculous he was, and certainly what it meant to the entire city of Chicago (and my childhood), but the fact remains: Michael Jordan was, and will always be, the greatest basketball player in history. No one will come close to what he did for the game, how he played the game, and the ultimate drive and motivation behind his success. Even his official NBA profile calls him the greatest of all time. Sure, there are players who are similarly athletically gifted, or win a bunch of championships. But none of them match up head to head. And really, none of those players who came after MJ, like Kobe Bryant and (not really) LeBron James, could have ever had the same impact or have developed the same style without MJ. He simply revolutionized the way basketball was played. And with the help of teammate Scottie Pippen, the Bulls owned the NBA for a solid decade. Some of MJ's accolades, which only begin to scratch the surface of what he truly accomplished:

  • 6 Time NBA Champion
  • 6 Time NBA Finals MVP
  • 9 Time NBA All-Defensive First Team
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1988 (as a guard!!)
  • 3 Time NBA Steals Leader (1988, 1990, 1993)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1985, averaging 28 ppg)
  • 10 Time All-NBA First Team
  • 5 Time MVP (1988, 1991-92, 1996, 1998, and really should be more than that)
  • 14 Time NBA All Star
  • 3 Time NBA All Star MVP
  • 10 Time NBA Scoring Champion
The list could go on and on. I for one miss watching him and the rest of the Bulls play, so the real point of this post is to illustrate the massive old Bulls/MJ YouTube binge I just went on. I'll post the clips here, so just sit back and enjoy.

2:58-3:40 mark

There are so many more clips and highlights I could find; these are just a quick glimpse into his impact on basketball. There will never be another like him, and I'm just glad I got to witness it here in Chicago.