Michael Jeffrey Jordan also known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player, entrepreneur, and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets. He played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. After a three-season career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Tar Heels national championship team in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984.
He quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free-throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness". He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for the second time in 1999 but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards.
Jordan is in a league of his own. Year after year after year, he dominated the competition in the Association and has the numbers to back it up. Check out where MJ ranks statistically in NBA regular-season history.
Total Points Scored: 32,292 (5th)
For a guard to score this many points is extraordinary. In fact, Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game for his entire career. Doing that for 15 seasons is sure to put you in rarified air. That said, Jordan ranks only 96th in total games played in NBA history. (At the time of this writing, he’s about on par with Rudy Gay for total games played.)
In 1986-87, Jordan added a monstrous 37.1 points per game. And remember, this was a different era — he averaged just 0.8 3-point attempts. He was putting numbers the old-fashioned way. For seven straight seasons, M.J. averaged north of 30 points per game in the regular season. His Airness was an absolute force on offense.
Total Steals: 2,514 (3rd)
Jordan isn’t just one of the most potent scoring threats in modern NBA history, he’s also one of the league’s best defenders. He was the 1988 Defensive Player of the Year, using his unique speed, athleticism and legendary competitiveness to hound opposing players.
M.J. is even 123rd in blocks in NBA regular-season history. On either side of the ball, Jordan made things absolutely miserable. Scottie Pippen, meanwhile, is seventh in steals. Playing against the Bulls in the 90s was an absolute calamity if you didn’t have your act together.
Total Assists: 5,633 (47th)
Jordan isn’t always listed among the most pass-happy players in NBA history, but given how tremendously deadly he was scoring the ball, he was an underrated passer and play-maker. For his career, M.J. logged as many assists as celebrated point guards like Sam Cassell and Mike Bibby.
Jordan played a bunch of his career alongside players like Scottie Pippen and Steve Kerr. As such, if he found a teammate, there was a good chance the shot was going to go in. Given that Jordan faced more than his fair share of double-teams, there was often an open teammate to set up.
In 1988-89, Jordan averaged a career-best eight assists per game in the regular season. His 5.7 assists per game for his entire postseason career, meanwhile, helps underscore how well Jordan saw the court and orchestrated gameplay.
Total Rebounds: 6,672 (132nd)
Rebounding wasn’t easy for Jordan, but here’s another forum where he is probably a little underrated. Beyond his sophomore season, where he was sidelined by injury, M.J. averaged at least 5.2 rebounds per game in every season of his career. Yes, including his time with the Wizards.
Jordan is the franchise leader in rebounds for the Bulls. Considering he could dunk from the free-throw line, it’s not hard to imagine Jordan using his trademark athleticism on the glass.
Total Free Throws: 7,327 (6th)
In 1986-87, Jordan averaged 11.9 free throw attempts per game.Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Karl Malone, and Kobe Bryant are ahead of him. For reference, James Harden peaked at 11.8 FTAs in 2019-20. Yes, the fouls back then were a little harder and the hand-checking made fighting to the point of getting a foul called more physically demanding. But like any scoring titan, Jordan did a good chunk of his work at the free-throw line.
Total Triple-Doubles: 28 (19th)
A triple-double may or may not be a useful metric for assessing a player’s impact. Players like LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain each have dozens and dozens of triple-doubles to their name to go alongside their many titles.
Jordan’s triple-doubles might actually come in surprisingly low. But that doesn’t mean M.J. wasn’t stuffing the stat sheet. In 1988-89, Jordan averaged 32.5 points, eight rebounds and eight assists a game, and in that postseason, he posted an otherworldly 34.8 points, 7.6 assists and seven rebounds.
Michael Jordan Achievements
During his brilliant career, Michael Jordan won 6 NBA Championships, earned a total of 14 MVP awards, was selected to 14 All-Star games, won 10 scoring titles... and the list of his achievements goes on and on.