First off, the top 10 Michael Jordan Most Memorable Moments will not be perfect, mainly because MJ had more memorable moments than the average man can stack into his brain. The Shot, the received punishment from the Pistons, the punishment given to the Knicks, Heat, Pacers. The 100-foot tall Nike billboard of him in Spain for the 1992 Summer Games. The endless buzzer-beaters. The shoes, commercials, gold. You name it, and you probably have a memory of Mike doing it. But nevertheless, we'll give it a shot. Keep in mind these are on and off-court.
During a tough Game 4 loss, Scottie Pippen took an elbow from Alonzo Mourning, causing a huge welt to form on his temple. Jordan took the flagrant elbow on his right-hand-man's head personal and went on to torch the Heat in the fourth quarter only to come up short.
Jordan went on to diss Zo' in the Game 5 pregame hand shakes and go off for the most efficient 28 points I've ever seen. Dunks, defense and a lot of intensity blew Miami out of the building that night in Chicago and the Bulls went on to add to their list of Hall of Fame players and coaches.
In 1984, Jordan jumped on to the scene to, not only change basketball forever, but also change the culture of urban fashion forever. His shoes became the standard by which style was set, and his game was something that hadn't been seen by many. While averaging 28 points and five assists a game, MJ quickly showed the world that Nike had chosen the name for his signature shoe correctly—"Air Jordan."
During the 1995 season, Michael began to hang around the Bulls practice facility and participate in practice. Rumors started to circulate that the he would return to the Bulls. I can remember this moment like it was yesterday. Scottie was having a seat on the bench, the camera came in for a close-up and Scottie lifted his Air Jordan X's off the floor and put the sole of his shoe right in the lens of the camera. A large Jordan brand logo was on the bottom and Scottie started to talk to the camera and motion his finger over national television, as if telling Michael "Come on back, you know you want to." A few weeks later, Jordan did just that.
This speaks volumes of Scottie Pippen. He was, at that point, the go-to-guy on the Bulls, and in a sport where players are so concerned with being the star on the their own team, Scottie (whom already had three rings and really nothing to prove) called for the return of the guy Chicago needed the most.
His Airness dropped 41 points on the Jazz...In Utah... In Game 5 (series was tied 2-2) with the Flu. Enough said.
After winning the Slam Dunk Contest in 1987, Jordan once again had to prove his aerial skills again in 1988 since Dominique Wilkins was sidelined for the first one. Long story short, the competition came down to Jordan's last dunk of the night. I think everyone can remember the words of the announcer that night: "Jordan needs a 48 to tie, a 49 to win."
After Jordan soared from the free throw line, "They gave him a 50! They gave Jordan a 50!"
I think it's safe to say everyone with a brain was trying to emulate this move the next day. I know I was...me and everybody else in the first grade.
Jordan burst down the lane for a dunk when, for some strange reason, he decided to switch to his left hand and lay it up on the other side of the glass. Oh yeah, that night he only had 33 points, seven rebounds and 13 assists.
In the 1992 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan further shoved his greatness in the face of the team who passed on him in favor of Sam Bowie. If you don't know who he is, don't feel bad—not many people do. Either way, MJ owned Portland and closed them out in six.
That summer, he also went on to set the NBA Playoff points record with 759 (34.5 ppg)
Jordan's domination of New York throughout his entire career is well documented. But not only did he rip out New York's heart time and time again, he did it in the most insulting way possible—making posters out of the man who many feel caused the NBA to rig the draft lottery to make New York competitive again, Patrick Ewing. MJ (along with a little help from Hakeem "The Dream") is the sole reason why Patrick Ewing never won a ring. The guy even stole one from him in college!
Though pictures of two of the most monsterous dunks ever seen are hard to come by on the internet, video is abundant.
Step 1: www.youtube.com
Step 2: Enter "Jordan dunks on Ewing" in the search bar.
Step 3: Pick your tongue up off the ground.
Michael Jordan was a freshman in college when he first became a household name, hitting a shot in the final seconds of the 1982 National Championship game in New Orleans in front of the biggest audience to watch a basketball game. In the following seasons at North Carolina, he would go on to win nearly every award a college player could—National Player of the Year, become the third pick in the NBA draft and win a Gold Medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Game 6, Salt Lake City.
Down 83-86 with 41.9 seconds left, Jordan took the ball at the top of the key and drove by Bryan Russell (you gotta feel bad for that guy. His assignment was to cover Michael Jordan in the Finals...Byron Scott, Joe Dumars, Clyde Drexler, Thunder Dan, Gary Payton couldn't stop him, but Bryan Russell was supposed to? This thing was over before it started) to the basket for a lay-up to cut the lead to one. The Jazz took possession with a chance to ice the game. Karl Malone posted up on the block, guarded by Dennis Rodman. Jordan crept around him from the baseline and slapped the ball away for the steal (I think at this point even Jerry Sloan knew what was about to happen). No timeout called by Phil, why would he? Jordan kept the ball in his hands and took position on the left side of the floor. With 12 seconds left, he made his move to the top of the key, brushed Russell aside and nailed the mid-range jumper with 5.2 seconds remaining. Bulls win 87-86.
Maybe one day if somebody decides to dominate a league, become an icon all over the world, have his clothing change an entire culture, star in a cartoon movie that even thugs watch, retire twice and comeback to dominate (twice), then we might be able to look back and say that someone was better than MJ.
Magic is about as close as it gets in terms of those before him. In terms of winning, their nearly neck-and-neck.
Kobe is about as close as we have now but still has a whole lot of work to do.
LeBron on the other hand, I don't even wanna hear that yet. I personally think that for anyone (whose resume doesn't look like this) to already be anointed "The King" is somewhat of an insult (Well, I guess he could be King of Cleveland. Thanks to Michael Jordan, that city isn't used to winning anything, so I guess it does fit):
6× NBA Champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
5× NBA MVP (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998)
14× NBA All-Star (1985-1993, 1996-1998, 2002-2003)
6× NBA Finals MVP (1991-1993, 1996-1998)
1× NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1988)
10× All-NBA First Team Selection (1987-1993, 1996-1998)
1× All-NBA Second Team Selection (1985)
9× NBA All-Defensive First Team Selection (1988-1993, 1996-1998)
1985 NBA Rookie of the Year
1985 NBA All-Rookie Team
3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998)
2× NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner (1987, 1988)
Appreciate the greatness that is Michael Jordan. The likes of it will never be seen again. He is, and more than likely always will be, the true "King." But you can just call him "His Airness"