- Won MVP, DPOY, Scoring Title, Steals Title, All-Star Game MVP, Slam Dunk Contest, All-NBA 1st team, All-Defensive 1st team
- Averaged 35/5.9/5.5/3.2 stls/1.6 blks on 53.5%, 60 TS% in the regular season, then averaged 36/7/5/2.4 stls/1 blk on 53%, 60 TS% in the playoffs
- Averaged 45/5/5/2.8 stls/1.6 blks on 56%, 63 TS% in the 1st round vs. the Cavs (Back to Back 50 point playoff games)
- Led the league in scoring, steals, free throws, and minutes played
- Led the Bulls to 50 wins and the 2nd round for the first time in the 80's
- Became one of only 3 players to get 200 stls/100 blks in a season, blocked more shots than 18/23 starting centers as a guard
59 pts (21-27), 6 asts, 2 stls, 2 blks vs. Pistons
50 pts (19-32), 9 asts, 5 stls vs. Celtics
44 pts (16-28), 9 asts, 5 slts, 5 blks vs. Rockets
44 pts (17-27), 9 asts, 3 stls, 3 blks vs. Jazz
32 pts (14-18), 10 stls in 27 minutes vs. Nets
47 pts (18-27), vs. Knicks
Michael Jordan this season had statistically the most dominant season in modern basketball while winning almost every major individual award in the league and he did this in a league with Magic, Bird, Barkley, Hakeem, Ewing, Wilkins, Drexler, Malone, Thomas, Stockton, all in their primes and having some of their best seasons. When you factor in level of play, stats, individual accolades, team success, and excitement this season is the best season ever IMO.
1990 Jordan was the peak for me. It was the first year he added great 3 point shooting to his repertoire, and still averaged 33.6/6.9/6.3.
Prior to that season (even in '88), the knock on him was his outside shooting, and particularly 3 point shooting. 1990 was the first year he averaged 3 shots per game from three point range, and hit them at 38%.
1997 MJ which was the best of "comeback" MJ is still << 1988 MJ.
we all know that. 1997 34 yrs old MJ was balling with 2 HOF'ers in Pippen & Rodman.
1988 MJ was lone all-star warrior on an ave team so
1988 MJ winning 50 games ALONE is >> than 1997 MJ winning 69 games.
Since when is winning 50 games and losing in the 2nd round comparable to 69 games(tied for the second most ever) and another title with every team gunning for you?
Jordan did a remarkable job carrying that team in '88, but throughout the years, players carrying weak teams to solid records has been far more frequent than what the Bulls did in '97.
Beyond that, Jordan was much smarter in '97, more skilled and more unselfish. I think he understood what it took to win a title much more. He was still a pretty athletic guard despite being 34, had the post game, a truly devastating mid-range game, was a smarter defender than he was in '88 and had learned to play within an offense more while still taking over whenever he needed to.
If my goal is to win a title, I'm definitely taking '97 Jordan. If my goal is to overachieve with a weak team, then yeah, sure, I could see someone taking '88 Jordan. But which would you prefer?
MJ was undoubtedly better every year from '89-'93, so no, it's not even one of Jordan's top 5 seasons. And I'm not taking '88 MJ over '96 or '97 Jordan either.
I'm not saying it was the best version of Jordan as a player, I already know that he improved as a player and if I had to choose the best version of him as a player it would definetly be '90 or '91, but in terms of individual success and accolades? This season HAS to be considered as one of the best of all time.
In a league with Magic, Bird, Barkley, Malone, Drexler, Wilkins, Mchale, Hakeem, Stockton, Isiah...
How do you win:
Defensive Player of the Year
ASG MVP (in Chicago btw)
All NBA 1st
All defense 1st
Basically having the best statistical season in NBA history per possession
Leading the league in scoring
Leading the league in steals
Leading the league in free throws
Leading the league in minutes
Leading the league in PER
Leading an average Bulls team to 50 wins and the 2nd round (1st time in the 80's)
Getting 200 stls and 100 blks in a single season (WTF)
Blocking more shots than 80% of starting centers as a guard (WTF)
Averaging 45 on 56% in a playoff series (seriously, WTF?)
Debuting the White Cement III's
1992 was Michael Jordan at his absolute apex. He combined the right amount of athleticism, skill, and mental mastery of the game. I don't think he was ever better nor do I think there was another player that was better.