Please believe me when I tell you that this article is not intended to start an argument about who or who isn't the true GOAT of the NBA. The intention is to wish a happy birthday to Michael Jordan and nothing more than that. But... while we're here, I may as well get on my Inked Magazine branded soapbox and proclaim the truth. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Full stop.
I've listened to every argument against Jordan, but I'm undeterred. Yes, Lebron is a force of nature. Yes, Bill Russell won more titles. Yes, Wilt Chamberlain set the lifetime scoring record for both points in a game and trysts with the ladies. But none of them dominated the league in the manner that Jordan did.
If you followed the Chicago Bulls during the '80s and '90s, or if you just happened to binge "The Last Dance" during lockdown, you've heard stories about how fiercely competitive Jordan was. He didn't want to beat you, he wanted to humiliate you. It didn't matter if you were his teammate or Isiah Thomas, if you were going up against Jordan he wanted to rip your throat out.
When you consider the era that he played in, it's miraculous that Jordan put up the numbers that he did. The game was so much more physical. Defenders couldn't just hand check opponents as a way to limit their mobility and speed, but they could, quite frankly, beat the hell of opponents. What is now a flagrant 2 used was often not even called a foul. I don't want to sound like Old Man Yells at Cloud, but if Jordan played his entire career with today's rules he would have likely put up an additional 8-10 ppg each season.
But, I digress. I'm not going to change any minds here. If watching His Airness play didn't convince you, nothing will. Happy birthday, Michael Jordan!
And we have to end it with two of our very favorite Jordan tattoos of all, both by Steve Butcher. First we have MJ playing for the Birmingham Barons, when he finally appeared to be human for the first time. And lastly, the meme. It brings us such joy, one may even say it brings a tears to our eyes, to see the Crying Jordan meme as a tattoo.