Michael Jordan is one of the most famous basketball players in history. He played a variety of different positions during his career. But he was mostly known as a shooting guard and small forward. Michael is often credited for popularizing these two positions.
Because he showed that they could be effective together on the same team.
We will take you step-by-step through Michael’s entire basketball career in this blog article. The positions he played at each time, his success there, and some statistics from each of those seasons are also included.
Who is Michael Jordan?
A stupid question right? Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play. He also happens to be one of the sports figures who has generated the most controversy. Some claim that only MJ was capable of putting the NBA and the entire game of basketball on the global stage.
The Early Days of MJ
Before Michael was drafted into the NBA. He participated in basketball for his high school squad, which he eventually guided to a state title. Michael made the decision to play college basketball at the University of North Carolina after he received his high school diploma in 1981. Michael made his debut as a freshman and led UNC in scoring that season with an average of 17 points per game.
Michael also won numerous awards during this time including College Player of the Year awards in 1984. And again in 1986. The only thing Michael didn’t do is lead UNC to an NCAA Championship; they lost twice in national finals!
After graduating from college with honors (he majored in cultural geography). Michael joined the Chicago Bulls as their third overall pick!
Into The NBA
Michael was a shooting guard and small forward for the Chicago Bulls from 1984-1993, 1994-1998, and 2003-2003. After his NBA career, he played two seasons in Baseball with the Birmingham Barons before returning as a Washington Wizards small forward from 2001 to 2003.
Michael received many awards throughout his illustrious career including six MVP awards (five regular-season MVPs and one All-Star game MVP), ten scoring titles, three defensive players of the year awards, fourteen all-star appearances.
Michael Jordan | The Shooting Guard (SG)
MJ’s main position was shooting guard. Michael won the most MVPs as a shooting guard and he also has six finals MVP awards. Which are second all-time behind Magic Johnson who has ten Finals MVP Awards! Michael was an incredible scorer during his time in the NBA.
Yet the fact that Michael could do it from anywhere on the court made him virtually unstoppable. Regardless of his distance from the target or the location of defenders attempting to block him, he had an incredible ability to shoot correctly.
During Michael’s career at SG, Michael averaged 32 points per game (PPG) with a true shooting percentage of 57%!
Michael played nine seasons for Chicago Bulls as Shooting Guard averaging over 30 PPG each season. While having five seasons above 34+ PPG including one 50 points per game season in 1986-1987 (Jordan’s best season).
During this time, he also won three scoring championships and two trophies for defensive players of the year. Michael holds a number of shooting guard records, including the following:
- Most 40 point games in a career: 118
- Most consecutive 40 point games: 12
- Second-highest points per game average for one season with 37.09 PPG! Only Wilt Chamberlain has averaged more than MJ did at his SG position! Jordan is tied with Kobe Bryant who averaged just over 35 PPG once as well
Michael Jordan | The Point Guard (PG)
During the 1988-89 season, MJ was moved to the point guard position. And yes, he more than delivered.
On March 8, 1989, the Jordan-less Bulls lost 104-95 on the road against the Larry Bird-less Boston Celtics. The Bulls were 34-24 at the time, on pace to finish with a worse record than the previous season.
The next day, Jordan held a two-hour meeting with head coach Doug Collins. While Collins always kept Jordan as the offense’s focal point, the six-time NBA champion was frustrated because he felt he didn’t receive help on that end of the court. Sam Vincent, the Bulls’ point guard, struggled to run the offense, and Collins decided to move Jordan to that position. His Airness embraced it and put up a stretch for the ages.
Jordan flourished in his new role as the Bulls’ starting point guard. He had 15 assists in his first game and led the Bulls to a 105-88 home win. Two days later, he had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists in just 30 minutes in a 122-90 home win against the Pacers.
Jordan continued to play at point guard until the end of the season. He averaged 30.4 points, 10.7 assists, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.4 steals in 39.8 minutes over 24 games.
Between March 24 and April 14, Jordan recorded a triple-double in 10 of the 11 games, including seven straight. The only time he failed to put up a triple-double was in a 114-112 overtime loss against the Pistons at home on April 7, 1989. However, he still finished with 40 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds.
Michael Jordan | The Small Forward (SF)
Michael Jordan played it exclusively when he returned to play again for the Washington Wizards.
Sept. 25, 2001. It’s a date that doesn’t exist in the minds of many Michael Jordan fans. Jordan, 38 years old at the time, announced that he would be stepping down as the team’s president of basketball operations in order to join the active roster.
Unfortunately for Jordan, his second comeback didn’t go nearly as well as the original, which included a three-peat with the Bulls. The Wizards won 37 games in 2001-02 and 2002-03, failing to reach the playoffs in each of those seasons.
In his first season with the Wizards, Jordan averaged 22.9 points per game, the 10th-highest mark in the NBA, along with 5.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game. His efficiency was down compared to his prime years (41.6 percent shooting from the field), but he was the leading scorer on a team that lacked any sort of offensive firepower outside of a young Richard Hamilton.
Jordan played in all 82 games in 2002-03, his final NBA season, and averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals. He took fewer shots than the previous season, but he hit them at a much better rate (44.5 percent from the field). Jordan was a 40-year-old with a body that was slowly breaking down.
In conclusion, we could all agree that Michael Jordan was not limited by positional play in basketball. Jordancould play any position on the court and dominate at all of them.
Michael started as a shooting guard in his early years, but then played point guard before Michael averaged more points per game when he was playing small forward most often during later parts of Michael’s career with the Washington Wizards.
Jordan truly is a one-of-a-kind basketball player who will be remembered for his incredible skillset throughout every single part of the court! Is Michael Jordan the best player to grace the basketball court? Let us know below!
Here are Some of our Favourite Basketball Sneakers
When it comes to the price of sneakers, it’s often a matter of personal value. Are they worth the investment? Well, that depends on your priorities and budget. Upgrading from your current pair should be influenced by your specific needs, whether it’s for performance, comfort, or style.
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What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.