Ask any of his rivals or teammates, and they will all tell you that he was nearly impossible to guard. His offense stats are staggering. With 32,292 points, he ranks fifth in the NBA’s all-time scoring charts. However, he was always an excellent guard who was almost impossible to beat.
Michael Jordan Was a Superstar Defender
Doc Rivers, current coach of the LA Clippers, described Jordan as “the best superstar defender in the history of the game.” During his playing days, Rivers often had to bring the ball up the floor with Jordan guarding him end line to end line.
Jordan is renowned for his gravity-defying dunks and eye-catching layups. But few people realize how good he was on the defense side. He blocked shots from players taller than him, covered passing lanes, and tracked his opponents so closely that they could literally feel his breath on their faces.
Since steals and blocks were first recorded during the 1973-1974 championship, Jordan is the only player to have made 100 blocks and 200 steals in two different seasons. Only Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon have managed to attain such defensive stats but unlike Michael they managed to do it only once.
His Defensive Knowledge Made Him Great
One of his former Chicago Bulls teammates shared that “Michael was a defensive player who was exceptionally talented offensively.” He believes that Jordan used his defensive intelligence and prowess to hone his offensive skills and shape himself into the legend that he became.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Michael Jordan was a phenomenon who brought joy to millions of basketball aficionados with his layups and dunks. But true connoisseurs know that he was more than an electrifying attacker. He was a complete basketball player who can help in both phases of the game.