NBA Power Rankings: Michael Jordan's Top 10 Scoring Seasons
Michael Jordan finished his 15-year career with an astronomical scoring average of 30.14 points per game. This is the highest scoring average in NBA history.
This story goes by points-per-game in each of Jordan's top-10 scoring seasons. I usually go by points per minute to see what the best scoring seasons were for any player, but here, to make it easy, we go with regular season ppg.
Note: In 1985-86 Jordan averaged 22.7 points in only 25.1 minutes a night, but only played 18 games.
Jordan averaged 20.0 ppg as a 40-year-old—an NBA record.
1985 rookie Jordan led the NBA in total points (but not scoring average Bernard King 32.9 ppg).
Jordan averaged 26.9 ppg in 17 games in his comeback for the Bulls in 1995.
Jordan, aged 38-39, scored 22.9 ppg for the Wizards in 2002 after not playing for four years.
Those were the bottom five, here are the top 10:
1986-87: 37.1 Points Per Game
MJ scored more than 3,000 points this season! The only other player to ever do that is Wilt Chamberlain.
In his second season, Jordan scored 63 for an all-time playoff high, which is still a record to this day. So, he started off his third season by scoring in such an exciting way that the world started watching this unstoppable scoring force.
He took it up in so many acrobatic ways it was...well...it's hard to explain.
Jordan also averaged 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.5 blocks per game!
Jordan led the league in scoring per game for the first time.
1987-88: 35.0 Points Per Game
Michael Jordan was named Defensive Player of the Year! The 6'5", 198-pound Jordan stopped anyone from scoring on him, but no one could stop him from scoring.
It is amazing how busy Jordan was on the court in 1988. He was named NBA MVP, All-Star MVP, dunk champion and he led the league in scoring and steals.
Jordan scored 35.0 ppg and shot a masterful 53.5 percent from the field and 84.1 percent from the line.
By the way, MJ averaged 5.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.2 steals and 1.6 blocks per game.
Can you say GOAT?
1989-90: 33.6 Points Per Game
Jordan has his third best three-point shooting season (he shot 50.0 percent from three in 1994-95 and 42.7 percent from three-point land in the 72-win season). He shot 37.6 percent from three-point range this season.
Basically he, could and did, score from anywhere on the court, which was a nightmare for defenders. They could not stop Mike.
Even though his teammates were getting better (Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant) Jordan still had to do more, so he also grabbed an awesome 6.9 rebs, 6.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
Jordan led the NBA in scoring for the fourth straight season. He shot 52.6 percent from the field and 84.8 percent from the line!
And those shoes were sick!!!
1992-93: 32.6 Points Per Game
Jordan won his seventh straight scoring title in 1992-93, and he won his third straight NBA championship and then retired at the age of 30. Wow, what a scoring average to retire on.
Jordan shot 50 percent from the field and 83.7 percent from the line and in the finals he scored more points per game than any player ever has. He averaged 41.0 ppg vs. the Suns—he had to—his teammates were sucking it up.
Jordan never took a night off even at age 30.
He also grabbed 6.7 rebounds a game, dished off for 5.5 assists per night and stole 2.8 balls a game.
After nine seasons in the NBA, Jordan was already the greatest to ever play the game.
1988-89: 32.5 Points Per Game
This was Jordan's most all-around season, and he almost averaged a triple-double.
You hear about LeBron James averaging 28 points and grabbing seven rebounds and dishing eight assists, but Jordan, at 6'5", 200 pounds, scored 32.5 ppg on an awesome 53.8 percent from the field and 85 percent from the line.
MJ also grabbed eight rebounds per game (a shooting guard!) and dished off eight assists per game, and he was like a bulldog on the defensive end with 2.9 steals per game.
In one stretch Jordan recorded 11 straight games with over 10 assists. His teammates needed all the help they could get.
1990-91: 31.5 Points Per Game
Jordan forced his first Finals win, and did it in mind-blowing style. He was infallible in the Finals by averaging more than 30 points and 10 assists per game. He would not lose and had no mercy on Magic Johnson, James Worthy or Byron Scott.
In the regular season, MJ was totally unstoppable as he primed his team of underachievers to be the best. In 1991, Jordan solidified his legacy as greatest ever. Jordan shot 53.9 percent from the field!!! In comparison, Kobe Bryant's career high field goal percentage is 46.9 percent.
Just ask Magic.
Jordan also averaged six rebounds, 5.5 assists 2.7 steals and one block per game! Oh yeah, he was also Finals MVP and regular season MVP, and won his fifth straight scoring title.
1995-96: 30.4 Points Per Game
Jordan averaged 30.4 ppg at age 33! He had recently come out of retirement, and this was his first full season back. For all the doubters out there—Jordan led the league in scoring, shot 50 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from three-point range. Wow!
Jordan also added 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals.
Jordan was named NBA MVP as he led his team to the greatest record in NBA history.
Every season teams that start off well hope they will win at least 70. They never do. Much less 72.
This season showed he was no fluke whatsoever.
1991-92: 30.1 Points Per Game
This is the season that Jordan's teammates were also on fire. The season culminated in the Bulls' second title win in two seasons, and the world got to see Jordan do what he did to Portland in Game 1 of the Finals.
Six threes before halftime and 35 points, at the half!
In the regular season Jordan averaged 30.1 ppg, 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.
Jordan was named NBA MVP for the second straight season, and he was Finals MVP for the second straight season.
You should have seen Jordan this season. Nobody will ever do what he did and he made it look so easy. He shot 51.9 percent from the field and 83.2 percent from the line.
1996-97: 29.6 Points Per Game
Jordan, for the ninth time, led the NBA in scoring; and he did it at age 34.
Not only that, the Bulls posted the second highest winning season ever at 69-13.
The year before they went 72-10.
That's how great this guy was. He grabbed 5.9 rebs per game, dished off 4.3 assists per game and stole it 1.7 times per game.
Jordan shot 49 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three-point range and 83.3 percent from the line.
Jordan won his fifth title and fifth Finals MVP award in this season.
Too great to comprehend.
1997-98: 28.7 Points Per Game
In this season Jordan became the oldest player to ever win the NBA MVP award. He is also the oldest player to ever the lead the NBA in scoring.
I do not know how it is possible but Jordan led the league in scoring for an all-time-record 10th time in 1998, and at age 35!
The old man somehow got the 62-20 Bulls back to the Finals, and won it all. In Game 6 the Bulls took the title, and Jordan scored 45 points in that game. He would not let them lose.
He scored 45 and then retired for four years.
I was 12 years old in 1988 and I have watched the NBA for 22 straight years, and NO ONE comes close to MJ people. I'm sorry—but I saw it before my very eyes. Too bad so many of you missed it. I truly do feel sorry for you, because YouTubeing Jordan pales in comparison.