Michael Jordan, known by many as ‘MJ’, is a legendary basketball player and arguably the greatest of all time. He is a six-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, and the list goes on. But who was MJ’s favorite basketball player? In this article, we will take a look at MJ’s admiration for a few iconic basketball players and why they were his favorites.
MJ’s Early Inspiration
As a young boy, MJ was inspired by two of the greatest basketball players of all time – Dr. J and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Dr. J, otherwise known as Julius Erving, was a dominant player in the American Basketball Association (ABA) with his signature acrobatic moves. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a dominant center in the NBA and one of the most decorated players in history. Both players were a source of inspiration for MJ as he grew up.
MJ’s Respect for Magic Johnson
MJ and Magic Johnson were two of the biggest stars of their time and faced off against each other in many memorable moments. Despite their intense rivalry, MJ had a tremendous amount of respect for Magic Johnson, who was one of the greatest point guards of all time. MJ once said, “I think Magic Johnson is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today.”
MJ’s Admiration for Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas was another great player in the 1980s and MJ respected him for his skills and leadership. Despite the intense rivalry between their respective teams, MJ respected Isiah Thomas and even named him to the Dream Team in 1992. MJ once said, “Isiah Thomas was the toughest competitor I ever faced. I always had the utmost respect for him.”
MJ’s Friendship with Larry Bird
MJ and Larry Bird were two of the greatest basketball players of their era, and they faced off against each other in the famous “Showdown in the NBA Finals” in 1984. Despite their intense rivalry, they were actually good friends off the court. MJ even said, “Larry Bird was the most complete player I ever faced.”
MJ’s Respect for Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest players of the modern era and MJ had a great deal of respect for the “Black Mamba.” Kobe was a tremendous player who was able to take the game to a whole new level. MJ once said, “Kobe Bryant was one of the best players in the game. He was so passionate about the game and he was so passionate about winning.”
MJ’s Respect for LeBron James
LeBron James is one of the greatest players of this generation and MJ has a lot of respect for the four-time NBA champion. LeBron is a special talent and his passion and commitment to the game is unparalleled. MJ once said, “LeBron James is one of the greatest players of all time. He’s a great leader and an even better competitor.”
MJ’s Admiration for Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is one of the greatest players of this era and MJ has a lot of admiration for the Golden State Warriors point guard. Curry is a revolutionary player who brought a new level of shooting to the game. MJ once said, “I have a lot of respect for Stephen Curry. His shooting ability has changed the game and he’s a great leader.”
MJ’s Respect for Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is one of the greatest scorers of all time and MJ has a lot of respect for the Brooklyn Nets star. Durant is one of the most versatile players in the game and is a great leader. MJ once said, “Kevin Durant is one of the greatest scorers of all time. His shot-making ability and defensive play are second to none.”
It is clear that MJ has a great deal of respect for a number of iconic players who played during his era and beyond. From Dr. J and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, there is no doubt that MJ admired and respected these players for their talent and leadership.
In conclusion, MJ had a lot of admiration for many iconic basketball players, but it is clear that his favorite was Larry Bird. The two had a great friendship off the court and MJ always had the utmost respect for the Boston Celtics legend.