10 facts that put MJ's GOAT status beyond reasonable doubt
What is it about Michael Jordan that over 15 seasons after his third and final retirement he's still by far the most successful sneaker salesman in the world? Is it the shoes? Is it the hang time? Is it his 6 championships with two 3-peats? Is it the fact that everyone in the arena and across the globe watching basketball knew that anything could happen once the ball landed in his court?
GOAT debates are interesting in a number of sports - for a well-informed soccer fan, there clearly is no specific GOAT out of the 5 candidates he knows are at the same echelon. For an American football, hockey or a baseball fan, difference in era have shrouded in doubt the status of who really is the greatest to ever play those games, though the argument for Wayne Gretzky is akin to an argument for Don Bradman as the GOAT cricketer because the stats are too good to be denied.
The GOAT of basketball, however, has been a mantle resting with Michael Jordan for nearly 30 years now - from the time he won his first championship with the Bulls in 1991. The following is a list of his achievements that could conceivably stand the test of time for 20 more years:
#1 Highest scoring average in regular season, playoffs and Finals
MJ has universally been acknowledged, and with good reason, as the greatest and most skilled scorer of all time. What makes this achievement even more impressive is that he achieved this playing in an era with a really low pace, which is why his stats per 100 possessions are ungodly in the playoffs - a truly impossible-to-match 43.3 points per 100 possessions per game through the course of his career.
His per-100 possession stats from the Bulls' first 3-peat speak for themselves:
(a) 41.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 3.2 steals, 1.8 blocks on 52.4% shooting from the field and 84.5% on free throws in the 1991 playoffs through 17 games
(b) 44.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.6 steals, 0.9 blocks on 49.9% shooting from the field and 85.7% on free throws in the 1992 playoffs through 22 games
(c) 46.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.7 steals, 1.2 blocks on 47.6% shooting from the field and 80.5% on free throws in the 1993 playoffs through 19 games