The only argument I’ll listen to is one between Jordan and Ruth…

by Jeff Hilimire on July 8, 2013

“In fact, when the 21-year-old from Wilmington, N.C., first landed at O’Hare Airport to join the Bulls, there was no one to pick him up. A limo driver and crazy sports fan named George Koehler spotted Jordan searching for a cab and offered him a ride.”

“Everybody got chills when the Bulls blew past the Knicks, the 76ers and the two-time defending champion Pistons by a combined marks of 11-1 before crushing the Magic Johnson-led Lakers 4-1 in the 1990-91 Finals. Jordan — who average 31.1 points in the playoffs and switched hands in midair making that famous layup in Game 2 of the Finals — was named Finals MVP, All-NBA first team, All-NBA Defensive first team and MVP of the league. If there had been a scepter, he would have accepted it.”

We have a here a player who dominated the most basic statistical category of his sports like no one else in major pro sports history; who lead his team to dominate the league, both in the regular season and in the postseason; and who lifted the visibility of his sports to heights previously unattained. No, the issue goes beyond Jordan and Chamberlain; the only argument I’ll listen to is one between Jordan and Ruth.”

Excerpts from a short but excellent “oral history” of MJ. Must read for all the MJ fans out there.


  • TS

    Line MJ and King James up, side-by-side, at comparable ages. I think the argument is very close. I haven’t done the analysis myself, but I think it would be interesting. ;)

  • Jeff Hilimire

    Here is a comparison of MJ and Lebron at age 27. Very close, but Lebron will have to do it for another 4 or 5 years…

    Kinda like Nadal or Djokovic vs. Federer. They’ll have to do what they’re doing for 3 or 4 more years to be in the conversation.

  • TS

    Thanks for finding that info. I guess this is when his young age will come in handy for Bron Bron – he is still young and should be able to continue his current high level of play for several more years. I think it may come down to championships in the end. We know LBJ will have 30/7-8/7-8 for the rest of his career, but his greatness will be identified by how he does in the Finals and how many championships he ends up with.

    I’m holding out hope that AI will eventually be good enough that we can watch a simulated game between these 2 and/or some of their best teams.

    I think LBJ guards MJ in that matchup. Does MJ get the LBJ matchup, or would Phil give that to Pip instead?

  • Raghu Kakarala

    In a game of playground hoops with loose interpretation of the rules like traveling I actually like the real AI to have a chance in one on one:

    And I think LBJ guards MJ if their teams play, but Pip takes LBJ along with some hard hits from Grant or Rodman if he drives the lane.

    Did MJ usually guard Kobe when they matched up? They are closer to the same size/position than Lebron.

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