Fan’s take: Four reasons Michael Jordan is the best ever

Basketball has had numerous stars through the years, but only one can be crowned as the best player in the history of the sport. One of the main reasons basketball is the greatest sport on Earth is the team aspect of the game. Not all superstar athletes can be a great team player, but in order to achieve success they must help their teammates improve. Magic vs. Bird was the best individual rivalry of all time, but neither of those two match up to the best basketball player of all-time. Who is the best? The man who made #23 the most popular jersey number, Michael Jordan, is the best basketball player of all-time. Let's take a closer look at what separates Jordan from the rest of the pack.

Top Four Reasons Michael Jordan is the Best Basketball Player Ever

1. Competitive Drive (Will to Win)- I don't know many people who like to lose, but I also don't know anyone who wanted to win more than Michael Jordan. Deep inside he had that fire that no one else has been able to match. Jordan was cut from his high school team as a sophomore, but he didn't let that stop him from his goal. It only made him want it that much more. The amount of time he spent on the practice courts led to becoming the most successful player of all-time.

2. Ability to Make His Teammates Better- Not every amazing basketball star can make their teammates better, but Michael Jordan definitely could. While Jordan made many shots to close out a game or a playoff series, he knew when it was the right time to kick a pass to the open teammate. Remember when John Paxson and Steve Kerr knocked down those crucial shots for the Bulls? It was Jordan who created that opportunity for those role players. The fact that Jordan's work ethic rubbed off on his teammates shouldn't be overlooked. The players who played alongside Michael Jordan were much better off because of his "team first" mentality.

3. No Real Weakness- What was Jordan's weakness as a player? His rivals have said time and time again that he simply didn't have one, and it really is the truth. Jordan was a great scorer, passer, rebounder, and defender. He shot 50% from the floor over his career despite facing a double-team constantly. Jordan averaged 6.2 rebounds per game in his illustrious career. Jordan had a turnover/assist ratio of just about two to one, which is tremendous for a guy who received as much attention from the defense as he did. There really was no weakness in his game.

4. Rose to Occasion Consistently- The fire he had inside certainly helped him do this, but Jordan absolutely rose to the occasion when he needed to most in every circumstance. There hasn't been a better clutch player in the history of the game. No game better defined his amazing ability to rise the occasion when the deck was stacked against him than Game Five of the 1997 NBA Finals. Jordan was severely ill and could barely stand up, but he somehow managed to score 38 points and carry the Bulls to victory. Scottie Pippen said after the game, "He's the greatest, and everyone saw why tonight." This game has become known as simply "The Flu Game." No player has ever consistently carried his team the way Jordan did in key moments.

The game of basketball has many stars today, but it's hard to imagine any of them topping Jordan. It is certainly possibly that the game will eventually see someone who will measure up favorably against Jordan, but there is no doubt the bar is set exceptionally high.

Sources:

ESPN 100 Most Memorable Moments #79 "Jordan Battles Flu, Makes Jazz Sick"

NBA.com "Michael Jordan Career Stats"

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Three Reasons Why LeBron James is No Michael Jordan

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Updated Thursday, Mar 24, 2011