Michael Jordan, or considered by many as simply the G.O.A.T., earned his legacy by racking up scoring titles, MVPs, Finals MVPs and championships so often that voters simply became bored of his greatness and somehow voted Karl Malone league MVP. This happening during a year in which Jordan lead his team to 69 wins and lead the league in scoring at 29.6 points per game. Yes, Malone did have a great season as well but everyone knew who the most valuable player was that year and it wasn’t “The Mailman.” But “His Airness” didn’t gain his greatness on individual accolades alone; he did so with the help of a Hall Of Fame coach in Phil Jackson and fellow Hall Of Fame players Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Jordan’s teams were great but they weren’t considered super teams and had its fair share of fringe role players, especially during the six-time NBA Champion’s first three-peat. Not only this, but let’s not forget Jordan’s time with the Washington Wizards (although Bulls fans might want to) where number twenty-three had his only two losing seasons after coming out of retirement for the second time in his career. Yes, even the greatest basketball player of all-time had to deal with his fair share of scrubs, who he more than likely demolished every time he hit the practice floor. In considering Jordan’s less than stellar teammates we have to take into account the impact (or lack-their of) these teammates had on his career, so players who were on his team for a short amount of time or players with very little minutes per game don’t count.
15 Scott Williams
A three-time NBA champion thanks to Jordan, Scott Williams spent 16 seasons in the NBA and four with the Chicago Bulls from 1990-1994. During the 1993 NBA Playoffs, he played in all 19 games, averaged 20.8 minutes per game and scored a pedestrian 5.5 points per contest. Williams never averaged more than 8.0 points per game in any season and played for seven different teams during his NBA career. Despite this he was still able to get work, playing for 15 years in the league, something he probably has Jordan to thank for, as that “championship experience” and veteran presence is something teams seemed to value in Williams. So, whenever Williams is checking out his championship rings, he must definitely think of and thank Michael Jordan.
14 Stacey King
Also a beneficiary of Jordan’s prime, Stacey King, who is most notably known now as the Bulls color commentator, was a part of Michael’s first three-peat as well. King spent five seasons with the Bulls, where he averaged 6.6 points and 3.3 rebounds at 17.0 minutes per game. King was the sixth pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Bulls and could be considered a bust as he played for five different teams during his eight seasons in the NBA. King was traded during the 1993-1994 NBA season to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Luc Longley, who is a slight upgrade but also added to the line of mediocre Center’s Jordan had to play with, as Longley was part of the Bulls second three-peat from 1996-1998. King never amounted to much on the court, but his signature catch phrases as a commentator give Bulls fans something to be proud of.
13 Bill Wennington
After playing two seasons overseas in the middle of his career, Bill Wennington signed with the Bulls before the 1993-1994 season and spent six seasons with the team, winning three championships. Originally picked 16th overall in the 1986 Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, Wennington struggled to find a home before arriving to the Bulls and carving out a role under head coach Phil Jackson. Despite averaging only 4.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for his career, Wennington will forever be played on the NBA’s classic games over and over again thanks to Jordan. During Jordan’s first comeback, he struggled to get back in the flow of games after playing baseball for almost two full seasons. The game Jordan was considered to finally be back to his old self was the “Double Nickel” game at Madison Square Garden where Jordan scored 55 points against the New York Knicks. The game however, would have been less meaningful had it come in a loss, but Jordan was able to find Wennington under the basket for a game-winning dunk with 3.1 seconds left that resulted in a 113-111 win for the Bulls.
12 Tyronn Lue
The current Cleveland Cavaliers head coach had a perfect situation fall into his lap and now has a championship ring from coaching LeBron James last season. Lue was also Jordan’s teammate during the pairs only two seasons with the Washington Wizards, where he played over 20 minutes per game in both seasons, starting in 24 games during the 2002-2003 NBA season. Jordan was an absolute shell of himself during his time with the Wizards but the point guard turned coach has stated that he learned a lot from his two seasons with Michael. Regardless, Tyronn Lue was not a productive teammate averaging 7.8 and 8.6 points per game for the Wizards before he left to sign as a free agent for the Orlando Magic. Lue’s most famous moment as a player came when he was stepped over by Allen Iverson after “The Answer” swished a jumper during Game 1 of the 2001 Finals, not something you want to be remembered for.
11 Bill Cartwright
The former Bulls head coach was also an All-Star early in his career with the New York Knicks as a rookie, before arriving in Chicago during the 1988-1989 NBA season. Bill Cartwright was the starting Center during Jordan’s first three-peat and during his six seasons with the Bulls he averaged 9.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per-game, low numbers for a starting Center. In comparison Jordan averaged 6.2 rebounds per game during his 13-year Bulls career as the starting shooting guard and Scottie Pippen averaged 6.7 rebounds per-game during his 12-year Bulls career at the opposite wing. This coming at a time where Center was the most valuable position in the league as Hall of Famer’s Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal and Dikembe Mutumbo, among other great Center’s, were reeking havoc in the paint. Despite the lack of inside presence the Bulls were able to dominate the early 1990s, as Cartwright would retire after the 1994-1995 NBA season.
10 Luc Longley
A recipient of three NBA championships due to Jordan’s amazing comeback that resulted in a 72 win team, the best in NBA history record-wise, Luc Longley was another starting Center that did not stack-up with the rest of the league. He averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during his five seasons with the Bulls. The rebounds per game were very low for a Center, but these numbers also came at a time where Dennis Rodman lead the league in rebounds during each of the Bulls three championship runs. Regardless during his 10 NBA seasons, Longley averaged double-figures in scoring only once and was a career 46 percent shooter from the field. Here we have another player who must think of and thank Michael Jordan when looking at his championship rings.
9 Chris Whitney
Third on the 2001-2002 Washington Wizards squad in minutes per game, Chris Whitney encountered Jordan well past his prime and contributed to the Wizards mediocre 37-45 record in Jordan’s first season with the team. Whitney was part of a starting backcourt that also featured Rip Hamilton, perhaps Jordan’s best teammate during his second career comeback. He started 81 games that season, averaged 10.2 points per game and shot 41 percent from the field, the same percentage a 38-year-old Jordan shot that year. All in all he lasted 11 seasons in the NBA, not bad for a second round pick but not one of Jordan’s most memorable teammates. So, we have to conclude that Whitney was one of the worst players to share the court with the great Michael Jordan.
8 Bryon Russell
A member of Kobe Bryant’s list of worst teammates as well, Bryon Russell had his fair share of battles with Jordan before the two met in Jordan’s last season in the NBA with the Wizards. Prior to Russell arriving to Washington, he spent nine seasons with the Utah Jazz and was used primarily as a lockdown defender in an attempt to stop Jordan from achieving greatness. But like so many others before him, Russell was unable to do that and the most memorable moment of his career came when Jordan gave him a slight shove in order to create space for a game winning jumper during Game 6 of the 1998 Finals, clinching Jordan’s sixth and final championship. Russell barely contributed to the Wizards during his loan season with the team, averaging 4.5 points in 19.8 minutes per contest.
7 Brendan Haywood
A former first round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2001 NBA Draft, Brendan Haywood found himself on Jordan’s Wizards after the team traded for the seven footer before the 2001-2002 season. After a successful college career at UNC, the Wizards thought Haywood could be a defensive anchor and he ended up playing a healthy 8 and a half seasons, starting in 450 games for the franchise with career averages of 7.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. In Jordan’s last ever season in the NBA, Haywood started 69 games averaging just 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Haywood lasted 13 seasons and is known now as a broadcaster for ESPN. And unfortunately for the commentator, we must include him on this list of worst players to suit up with Michael Jordan.
6 Kwame Brown
Selected number one overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2001 NBA Draft Brown was the first number one pick in NBA history to be drafted straight out of high school. Jordan was the Director of Basketball Operations at the time of the pick and took much of the blame for drafting the high school prospect, as he ended up being one of the biggest busts of all-time. Kwame Brown averaged 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for his career and spent just four seasons in a Wizard’s uniform before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would give Kobe Bryant his fair share of headaches as well. Brown started just 20 games during Jordan’s last season, as the big man was never able to live up to the pre-draft hype.
5 Gene Banks
The 1986-1987 NBA season was historically great for Jordan, as he became the second person to put up more than 37 points per game all-time for a season at 37.1, second only to Wilt Chamberlain who had four seasons at over 35 points per game. He also did not have the strongest supporting cast in the world and Banks was a key component of that unit. Gene Banks averaged just 9.7 points per game that season at 28.9 minutes per game, good enough for forth on the team in minutes as he started in 39 games. He would be out of the league the very next season after only spending six full seasons in the NBA. The Bulls would later be swept by the Boston Celtics 3-0 in the first round of the 1987 NBA Playoffs, despite Jordan pouring in 35.7 points per game in the series.
4 Dave Corzine
Playing major minutes during his seven seasons with the Bulls in the 1980s, Dave Corzine started in 285 games as the team’s Center, averaging 9.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in a Bulls uniform. He spent 13 seasons in the association, averaging just 8.5 points per game for his career during which he played for five different teams. He also played heavy minutes during the Bulls two consecutive sweeps at the hands of the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1986 and 1987 NBA Playoffs, starting in all six games. Having such a poor starting Center did not bode well for the Bulls as they went up against a Hall of Fame frontcourt of Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird. Despite this Jordan still made it competitive, scoring 63 points in Game 2 of the 1986 first round in a four-point loss at the hands of the Celtics.
3 Craig Hodges
Craig Hodges lead the league in three-point-shooting percentage three times and was a serviceable outside shooter during his 10 seasons in the NBA, but he was washed up by the time he came to the Bulls. As a two-time champion in Chicago Hodges averaged 6.2 points per game starting in eight games during his four seasons with the team. Hodges shooting percentage dipped well below his career average during the Bulls two championships with him on the team and he is most notably known for bringing up social issues to President George H. W. Bush in 1992 during the Bulls trip to the White House. So, all told, Hodges is thought of as that guy who spoke out at the White House. Now, while he sits in his own home looking at his rings, he must think of Michael Jordan.
2 Christian Laettner
The two-time NCAA Champion Christian Laettner is most remembered during his college days as a member of the Duke Blue Devils, where he earned a bad boy reputation that was well illustrated in the documentary “I Hate Christian Laettner.” After being selected 3rd overall in the 1992 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Laettner went on to have a productive NBA career, earning an All-Star during the 1996-1997 season with the Atlanta Hawks, but considering he made four straight final fours and played for the 1992 Dream Team in the Olympics, it was considered as disappointment by most. During his time with the Wizards, he averaged 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, significantly lower than his career averages of 12.8 and 6.7 in each category respectively.
1 Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley had a serviceable NBA career and was an enforcer for many NBA teams during his time in the association, but he never should be your franchises second option, as he averaged 9.7 points per game during his career. That is exactly what Oakley was during the 1986-1987 NBA season for the Bulls and it was a career year scoring wise for Jordan due in large part because he had no one else to pass to. Oakley would have a career year scoring wise for the Bulls that year, averaging 14.5 points per contest, but he is most famous for his time on the New York Knicks in the 1990s, with his role being a defender and rebounder, and not a scorer at all.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!