Would Michael Jordan Win A 2020 Poll For The Best Sportsperson Ever?

The sporting world is full to the brim with iconic stars.

But as the ideas linger in my mind, what becomes clear is only a handful of personalities can be considered among the best of all time. One such athlete is basketball’s — Michael Jordan.

In tune with the likes of other Mount Rushmore-esque figures: Mohamed Ali, Usain Bolt, and Lionel Messi. The legend of Jordan elevates sporting greatness to stunning new heights.

After dominating 90s basketball like no other, MJ’s sporting stardom can easily be considered the most notorious of that era.

But how would he compare to other greats? With the luxury of hindsight afforded to us in 2020, there is a real case to make Jordan the greatest of all time.

Basketball player, moviestar, culture and fashion icon. Read on to discover exactly what makes MJ so deserving of the crown.

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time
Michael Jordan has set the bar as basketball’s all time best — for the most part  — unchallenged by other great players around him.

MJ shone brighter than any who came before or after. He clipped the careers of his closest competition: Reggie Miller, Isiah Thomas and Charles Barkley, and became the benchmark which all future players are measured against.

People love to compare Jordan to the next basketball great, LeBron James. But as iconic as LeBron is, Jordan beats him atop the peak of basketball, let alone an all sports debate.

When basketball pundits bang on about the best player on a championship winning team, it was Jordan who went above and beyond what anybody could expect.

However, had he not taken a hiatus from basketball, sports fans would be wagering those championship rings would be much closer to eight. 

What the numbers say about Jordan’s odds of winning a poll
It’s undeniable that Jordan was an incredible individual talent. Boasting a career league average: 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. With his points average being an NBA record.

Therefore it's no surprise he’s credited for the Bulls decade of dominance. However, when it comes down to his teamplay, at times MJ left a lot to be desired.

In fact Vegas oddsmakers favor the 2018 Warriors to peak Jordan’s Bulls by four points, as reported by ESPN. Analyzing sports betting platforms with comparison sites like Online Casinos provide strong insight when ranking the greats. And in this case they separate greatness from team unity.

With that being said Jordan won: six championships, in six finals appearances, along with another six Finals MVP awards. You’d be hard pressed to find any online casinos who’d favor Steph Curry’s three rings above that.

How do Jordan’s achievements compare to other sports
Different sports often prove difficult to accurately compare, but all great sports personalities have one key trait in common — raw competitive nature.

From Ali’s fighting spirit to Phelp’s bed of gold medals, the need for competition is what keeps the best going strong.

Michael Jordan was a player with an addiction for competition, and a man who demanded the same ferocity from his teammates.

But with basketball impossible to compare against the likes of football or tennis, we must study individual awards.

With the risk of ensuing another debate, let's say Lionel Messi is the greatest football player ever. He boasts six Ballon D’Or awards, along with eleven UEFA Team of The Year appearances, and 7 Pichichi trophies.

Jordan matches up with eleven All NBA awards, 5 league MVP’s and a further ten scoring titles across his entire career.

Being neck and neck, it's clear Jordan belongs with the best. But where MJ excels is his unparalleled global impact.

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He transcended basketball
Being an iconic sports person means more than being good at your sport. The world requires you to be both a role model and cultural icon.

Although the spotlight made Jordan weary at times, it’s clear he excelled on both counts throughout his career and beyond.

Here are a few examples of how Michael Jordan transcended his own sport more successfully than any other athlete in history:

Air Jordan
The Jordan brand has dominated sports fashion and sneaker culture since day dot.

While his sports did the talking, MJ was never camera shy, especially in the early 90s. Because he boasted the star power on both ends: everyone wanted to be like Mike.

Putting on a pair of Air Jordans was the closest anyone could get, teammates included. And now with the brand posting billion dollar quarters for the first time, it's clear his influence hasn’t dwindled away over time.

No superstar has been that impactful in terms of global reach. Even to the point where European football teams — like Paris St Germain — are brandishing the Jumpman logo in a completely different sport.

Space Jam
Simply by watching Shaquille O'Neal in Shazam, it's clear to see Hollywood success doesn't come naturally to sporting stars. However, Space Jam is an anomalous blockbuster in an otherwise lackluster list.

You couldn’t get more 90s than Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes. And in 1997 they came together in a timeless feature film.

Jordan was a star, not only on the court, but with whatever he decided to do. And it had virtually no impact on his game, where he trained during production and closed off an illustrious career with a final NBA title in 1998.

Recommended reading: LeBron James Is About to Prove He's the MVP, Again

Jordan’s stardom at his peak was nothing short of hero worship; the like of which was rarely seen before or there after.

He didn’t merely transcend sports, MJ was omnipresent. From sneakers, blockbusters and advertisements, to all of his sporting achievements.

The man was relentless, unavoidable and undeniably the best sports person of all time.

Especially considering the release of The Last Dance, which proves him to be as relevant as ever.

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