During a recent interview with USA Today, NBA legend Michael Jordan spoke about the impact that his docu-series had on viewers. MJ was taken aback by the excessive adulation the show received.
Michael Jordan not only established himself as the best basketball player during that time, but he also helped popularize the sport across the globe. NBA changed for good since Jordan embraced the game.
The Jordan-led Chicago Bulls instilled fear in their opposition’s minds, with many of them being beat even before they reached the United Center. MJ never lost in an NBA Finals, with no contest going till a Game Seven.
“His Airness” led the Bulls to 6 championships from 1991-98, gathering various individual honors along the way. The 6x Finals MVP averaged over 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals throughout his career, bettering it by 3 more points in the playoffs with his tongue out.
Michael Jordan gets candid about the current NBA, the last dance, and constant comparisons.
The Bulls Legend finally retired from the NBA in 2003 after 15 seasons. It’s been almost two decades, but no player has attained the same level of stardom as MJ. However, the 10x scoring champion has never been a fan of the GOAT debate.
“It’s not fair, you know, but it’s a standard of measurement. When I came in, [it was] Dr. J. It’s just a standard of measurement to compare to. But there’s never going to be another Michael Jordan.” Jordan said in an interview in 1998 (during the last dance)
“There’s never going to be another Dr. J. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Now, there’s gonna be a Kobe Bryant, there’s gonna be a Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway. These guys are going to have similar traits, it’s how they manifest those traits to be the best basketball player.”
LeBron James is the closest anyone has ever come to Jordan. When it was looking like he would overshadow Jordan after winning a title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, “The Last Dance” helped refresh people’s memory and showed the magic of Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the 90s.
Q. Were you surprised by the reaction to “The Last Dance”?
“Yeah!! I always thought that people would not understand my passion for the game, my passion for winning”
Q. How do you think it changed the way people looked at Michael Jordan?
“I think they saw my desire to win on a consistent basis, you know,” Jordan said. “And every time I stepped on the floor I represented my family, the Chicago Bulls, the NBA, because my desire was strong.”
Jordan says the fans know the best, they understand everything,
“No matter what the league does, in terms of trying to promote, you can’t fool the consumer, you can’t fool the fans. So I mean, the game is going to say, he’s the next, whoever,” MJ said. “Your game is going to have to evolve to that label the league is trying to promote you with. It’s a danger to that because the credibility of the game could take a hit.”
There would always be “next Michael Jordan” or the “MJ or LeBron” debates in the NBA, but the one thing that the last dance reminded people of, is no one could ever do what Michael Jeffrey Jordan did with the basketball.