When discussing the greatest players in NBA history it is pretty much agreed that the list begins and ends with Michael Jordan. Jordan has accomplished some great things in the NBA, but arguable his greatest accomplishment is his perfect NBA Finals record, (6-0) and in those Finals victories he was named the Finals MVP every single time. To get to that level of greatness MJ had to have an unmatched desire to be the best, and a drive that allowed him to stop at nothing to get there.
During his 15 years in the NBA Jordan accomplished things that even he would have never thought possible. As time has passed, however, the legacy of Michael Jordan has grown to heights even the goat himself would have not expected. Today MJ is revered as a god-like athlete who did no wrong during his career. If you ever combed some of the message boards, and basketball groups on the web you will soon realize that MJ has become more than just a great basketball player, to many he has become perfection personified. Well today we will debunk the myth that MJ was perfect, and we will uncover 15 things Michael Jordan wants you to forget. Enjoy the ride, and just remember, even Michael Jordan wasn't perfect.
15 His 1-9 Playoff Record Without Scottie Pippen
We all know the picture of MJ holding up his right hand, with a ring on every finger, while holding up only his index finger on the left had to signify his place on the all-time great list. Also on that finger in his sixth ring. Jordan and his faithful fans always like to point out what they just 'facts', as in the 'fact' that he is 6-0 in NBA Finals. This is obviously a factual statement, but what is equally true is that MJ won only one playoff game out of ten before Scottie Pippen got to town.
From 1985-1987 Jordan made the playoffs three times. During those three seasons he was swept in the first round twice, in both '86 and '87, and during his 1985 playoff appearance, MJ was knocked out of the playoffs after winning only one game against the Milwaukee Bucks. This is not to say that Jordan couldn't win without Scottie, but the 'fact' is, he kind of didn't.
14 His Minor League Baseball Struggles
MJ retired for the first time in 1993 after the passing of his father. He decided to try his hand at baseball, as his father was a huge baseball fan, and Michael grew up playing baseball with his father. To honor his father, Jordan decided he should at least try to fulfill his father’s wish of his son playing professionally on the diamond.
Obviously, MJ was an amazing athlete, but, it is widely believed that the hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a fastball. His Airness proved that theory valid. During his brief career as a minor league baseball player, MJ batted just .202, and struck out more times than actually getting a hit. He finished his career with 436 plate appearances, and of those he struck out 114 times. Send him to the minors! Oh wait…
13 Going 9/35 From The Field In A Playoff Game
On May 26, 1997 Jordan had one of the worst playoff games of his career. Jordan logged a whopping 45 minutes on the fateful night, and in those 45 minutes, Jordan recorded just a single assist. Jordan being a scorer, however, some may argue that only having one assist is not that big a deal, and they would have a point. Unfortunately, not getting his teammates involved was the least of MJ's struggles that night.
Mike jacked up a staggering 35 shots that night, and in those 35 attempts he only made 9 of them, (including missing all eight shots from the three-point line). Clearly Jordan had one of his worst playoff performances, but luckily for number 23 this is often overlooked and forgotten about because his teammates were able to overcome his terrible game, and still pulled out the victory on the way to their sixth championship.
12 Drafting Adam Morrison Third Overall
Michael Jordan is obviously one of the greatest players to ever play basketball, however his record as a general manager is sketchy to say the least. In the 2006 NBA Draft, Jordan decided to select Adam Morrison out of Gonzaga University with the third overall pick in the draft.
Despite drawing comparisons to Larry Bird, Adam Morrison has proven to be one of the biggest flops in NBA history. Morrison lasted three seasons with Jordan and the Bobcats, until injuries and roster space forced Charlotte to trade him. After leaving the Bobcats, Morrison somehow found his way onto the early 2000s Lakers teams where he was fortunate enough to steal two championship rings with Shaq and Kobe. Both fortunate and unfortunately for Jordan, drafting Morrison was not the most memorable draft blunder of his front office career.
11 The Missed Dunk
One of the greatest dunkers in league history, it is hard to find instances of him failing at the rim. But in 2002, during the NBA All-Star Game, “his airness” got a steal and had a fast break all by himself with no defenders in sight. Jordan, always the showman, wanted to show the world he could still get up and dunk like the high flyer we all know him to be. Unfortunately for Jordan, things didn’t go as planned, and he missed the wide open dunk. The whole world was exposed to just how much of an effect that father time had on one of their sports heroes in that moment.
Jordan logged 22 minutes during his final All-Star appearance that night, going 4/13 from the field with only 8 points. His Eastern Conference squad lost by 15 that night, with Kobe Bryant taking home MVP honors. The game was one of the most memorable All-Star games of the modern era, as it was Jordan's final appearance, but most people will remember it as the game Michael Jordan flubbed a wide open dunk.
10 His Hall of Fame Speech
MJ has always been a little bit petty when it comes to holding a grudge. We all know about him refusing to play on the 1992 Dream Team if Isiah Thomas was on the team, and the time he refused to shake hands with the Detroit Pistons after being knocked out of the playoffs. However in 2009 Jordan reached an all-time low during his Hall of Fame acceptance Speech. Rather than thank his teammates, trainers, and coaches, Jordan decided to insult and ridicule some of his competitors. He went after guys like Jeff Van Gundy, and Byron Russell, men who had very little to do with his career.
Jordan even had the pettiness to go after the high school coach who cut him from the basketball team as a freshman. It is clear that Jordan has a hard time letting things go, and maybe that is what helped him become so great, but at a certain point Jordan needs to get over it and grow up.
9 His Time With The Wizards
There are many examples of all time great athletes having a difficult time retiring. We all know Muhammad Ali stuck around too long, ultimately losing to inferior competition because he couldn't step away. Willie Mays had to embarrass himself several times before ultimately calling it a career. Michael Jordan is another all-time great who just couldn't leave well enough alone.
In 2001 after being retired for three years, Jordan couldn't fight the urge any longer. For the second time in his life he 'un-retired' from the game of basketball. This comeback however, was not as successful as the first one. Jordan was 38 years old, and he was joining one of the worst teams in the league. In those two sad seasons MJ was forced to come off the bench 15 times, something he had never experienced before in his professional career. On top of not being the full time starter, Jordan was also unable to get the Wizards to the playoffs, and in 2002 MJ finally called it quits for the last time, we think.
8 His Gambling Problem
Obviously Michael was a hyper competitive kind of guy. He was also very confident and very stubborn. If he didn't beat you the first try he wanted to keep playing until he was able to get his revenge. There are countless stories of Jordan bullying teammates into gambling with him until he took their money.
Jason Williams has a tremendous story about Jordan bullying Jamal Crawford out of a few hundred thousand dollars. But the worst Jordan gambling incident happened in 1993. MJ was spotted in an Atlantic City casino until the wee hours of the morning; this was the night before a playoff game vs the New York Knicks. Jordan reportedly lost a lot of money that night, and he also lost a lot of sleep in the process. The Knicks took full advantage of Jordan and his lack of sleep, as the Knicks went on to win the first two games of that playoff series. Jordan would recover in time to lead his Bulls to four straight wins to close out the Knicks.
7 When He Punched A Teammate In The Face
Jordan was known as one of fiercest competitors basketball have ever seen. He often called out teammates and coaches during practice, in many ways bullying guys to do more than they were capable of. As a leader he did what he thought he had to do to get the best out of each and every one of his teammates. However, in 1990 things got a little out of hand.
While running a practice session, Jordan was hit with a hard screen by teammate Will Perdue. As Horace Grant recalled it, Jordan was “expecting Perdue to give way as usual, when Bang! Jordan slammed into Perdue and stopped, almost sliding down to the floor like some life-size cartoon character. Jordan stopped, looked hard at Perdue, and swung. One! Two! Right to the side of the head. Perdue’s knees wobbled, but he remained upright.” This type of behavior isn’t exactly becoming of a guy who many would call their “leader”.
6 Getting Crossed By Allen Iverson
Jordan was on the All-Defensive team nine times in his career, so obviously he was no slouch on the defensive end of the court. However, when he was matched up against a small rookie guard named Allen Iverson, Jordan was put into the spin cycle. Jordan picked up Iverson at the top of the key, and with two crossovers Iverson left Jordan reaching at air while the ball was falling through the net. This moment propelled Iverson to early stardom, and left Jordan wondering what happened to his ankles.
To this day, MJ is still a little salty about the whole thing. Recently Iverson was asked about the time he shook MJ, and in his answer he said: "I live in Charlotte, so I went to a Charlotte [Hornets] game, [Jordan] was in the back, so we was talking and I was telling him how much I loved him and admired him and telling him how much he was my hero. And he was like, 'Well, I couldn’t have been a hero to you if you crossed me like that.'"
5 The Hitler Stache
There was a time when Michael Jordan could do no wrong, except when it came to his facial hair. For a while in the 2000s, Jordan thought it was cool to sport a Hitler style mustache. Jordan claimed he was inspired by Charlie Chaplin, not Hitler, but be this as it may, Jordan still wore one of the worst facial hair styles a man can have, and for that, he should be chastised. Thankfully Jordan has since gotten rid of that mustache, but for a while, it was very odd seeing him with that.
Today we see LeBron James routinely mocked for his inability to come to terms with his balding issues. MJ deserves to be mocked equally as hard for his inability to understand what a silly, and unbecoming look it is to have the same facial hair as one of the worst human beings to ever walk this planet.
4 Being Eliminated From The Playoffs By The Pistons Three Years Straight
From 1989-1991 Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls had their season ended by the “Bad Boy” Detroit Piston teams. In some ways those Piston teams helped Jordan become the Jordan we have all come to know. The repeated failure Jordan experienced motivated him to actively strength train, to withstand the beating the Pistons put on him. Though his dynasty was destined to come after, during those three seasons, Jordan could not figure out a way to overcome the ‘Bad Boys”.
The beef with Detroit ran deep with MJ. In 1991 he refused to shake hands with the Pistons after being defeated. And in 1992 Jordan refused to play for Team USA if Piston guard Isiah Thomas was put on the team. He obviously didn't enjoy losing, but with Detroit it was more than that. For a god like MJ to lose three years in a row to the same team is something many Jordan fans refuse to acknowledge.
3 Drafting Kwame Brown
Regarded by many as the worst draft pick of all-time, Jordan selected, high school star, Kwame Brown to the Washington Wizards in 2001. Jordan passed on players like Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, and Tony Parker to get the eventual bust. Brown never materialized and was a flop from the day he was selected.
Much of the reason Brown fell so flat can be attributed to MJ as well. When the Wizards drafted Brown the team was a mess and they were in full re-build mode. After taking Brown first overall, MJ decided he wanted to make a comeback and play again. The expectations for the team immediately changed and Kwame was expected to become a star right away. There are also stories of MJ being incredibly tough on the teenager during team practices and film session, no surprise there.
2 Being Swept Twice in the First Round of the Playoffs
One thing MJ was never able to do in his career was beat Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. In two of his first three playoffs Jordan was stricken with the task of playing the vaunted Boston Celtics in the first round. Like many others, Jordan was steamrolled by the Boston dynasty, despite having some pretty spectacular games.
It is often forgotten that MJ suffered many many grueling and lopsided playoff losses, and the Celtics, along with the Pistons, were responsible for helping MJ develop the drive that ultimately set him apart from the rest. Regardless of his future successes, Larry Bird will forever get to hold it over MJ that he swept him two times in the playoffs.
1 The Crying Jordan Meme
If there is one thing that MJ would want you to forget it is easily his crying face plastered all over the internet. There is a generation of kids growing up right now who only know Jordan for two things; his shoes, and his crying face attached to a funny picture. During his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, Jordan shed some tears, and the pictures of him crying have since become gold on the internet.
The meme of Jordan crying has been put on the body of almost every celebrity going through turmoil; and they are all hilarious. If you live under a rock, and have never seen these, go look up Michael Jordan crying, you will not be disappointed. In fact we had the urge to put Jordan crying faces on every entry in this list, luckily we were able to stay strong.