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Michael Jordan... Flying Machine
Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever play the game.
I don't like Michael, I rooted against Michael and I wanted to find a reason to put someone else No. 1 on this list.
I failed in that endeavor.
No matter how you measure greatness—titles, scoring ability, "wow factor", leadership, statistics—Michael is the greatest.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson saved the NBA, but Michael made it a worldwide phenomenon, and the Bulls became the sport’s version of rock stars.
Michael could do it all: score at will, make the impossible pass, lock down a defender and soar through the air to defy gravity on his way to dunking on your head. If Dr. J invented the showmanship of the dunk, Michael perfected it.
He may not have been the greatest person to ever play in the NBA, but he was the greatest player, and it was a gift to grow up watching this man; I feel bad for all the youngsters born after his time.
Michael is the greatest. That simple.
I don't believe a fair argument can be made for any other player. The other spots on this list may be debatable, but No. 1 is not.
Had Michael not spent two years trying to hit baseballs, he'd be looking at eight successive championships in an era when Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon were trying to get their own—only to be shut out by Jordan’s dominance.
Stats/Accomplishments: six NBA Championships, six-time Finals MVP, Rookie of the Year, five-time NBA MVP, 10-time All-NBA First-Team, 10-time Scoring Champion, nine-time All-NBA Defensive First-Team, one-time Defensive Player of the Year, three-time Steals Champion, 14-time All-Star, three-time All-Star MVP, 32,292 career points; 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG and 2.3 SPG averages