michael jordan is considered by most people to be the greatest basketball player to ever walk the court. While most people have seen the highlights of his best dunks, the tongue out of him, or the infamous fade from him, many don’t know that he played more than just shooting guard in his career.
jordan not only played multiple positions throughout his time in the nba, but he excelled no matter where he was put on the court. he could “flip the switch” and improve his game no matter if he was on guard or forward.
1. escort (sg)
Michael Jordan’s primary position, and the one he played most often throughout his career with the Chicago Bulls. shooting guard is considered the most explosive and athletic position in the game. Jordan, being the most explosive and athletic player of his generation, made it easy for both Doug Collins (Jordan’s coach in the ’80s) and Phil Jackson (Jordan’s coach in the ’90s) to leave him at both.
the fact that one of the nba’s 50 greatest players of all time was there at small forward with the bulls, scottie pippen, meant that jordan could be in his natural position and cement himself as the best player in the basketball of all time.
2. small wing (nd)
Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls after the 1997-98 season and stayed out of the league until 2001. He then returned to the Washington Wizards, but was much older and not as explosive.
this meant jordan was going to switch to the small forward position, giving him more options on the wing to use his patented midrange fade. he took a lot more midrange jump shots and drove to the bucket at a lower percentage.
He adapted to his older age and new position, yet still averaged more than 20 points per game in both seasons with the Wizards. That’s impressive for an aging star coming back from a multi-year vacation.
3. base (p.)
This is the one most people don’t know about. During a stretch of games to end the 1989 season, Michael Jordan played point guard for the Chicago Bulls. in this era of basketball, point guards were short first-passers, usually no taller than 6’1.
jordan definitely didn’t fit that mold. Coming in at 6’6, he was a monster compared to other teams’ point guards. It wasn’t the normal way of doing things, but Jordan made it work.
And by “made it work” I mean he had a triple-double in 10 of the last 11 games of the season. he absolutely dominated the competition, making it one of the most amazing races of his storied career. So while you may not remember Michael Jordan as a point guard, by the numbers he might have been one of the best even back then.
this video explains jordan’s crazy game during his base run:
while most people think of jordan on wizards as an afterthought of his incredible streak with the bulls, the fact that he came out of retirement playing fit at age 38 (a dinosaur in the years of the basketball) is really amazing.
Although his numbers were down while playing for the Wizards as a small forward, he was still one of the best players in the league. that’s just one more proof of his magic in the game, regardless of his position.
The first retirement of his year was in his prime and so a comeback was easy, but that second is truly to be commended. Now, if we could help him be as good a team owner as he was as a player, then his professional career could finally be considered a success.
while michael jordan was great and was not subject to position restrictions. he was the perfect height at 6’6 to play at any of the guard positions, while also being able to slide and play forward.
if jordan played in the nba today, he might even be considered a small ball power forward. I can guarantee you he would have been great at that too.
do you think there is a position where michael would have been bad? Or is Jordan simply too good to fail anywhere on the court? let us know below.