Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players ever, and he’s also a legend in other sports. But what made him so great?
Every Time I Had the Ball, I’m Not Looking for My Shot … I’m Looking for Jordan is a quote from Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan was a basketball player who has achieved many achievements in his career.
Players understood to get the ball to Michael Jordan even before he was the GOAT. From his early days with the Chicago Bulls to his last years with the Washington Wizards, His Airness was always the focal point on offense. One of Jordan’s Wizards teammates told a tale of what it was like to play with him later in his career, and how difficult it was at first not to treat him like any other player.
Michael Jordan’s NBA career came to a close with the Washington Wizards.
Jordan retired as the best basketball player in the world in 1998. His Bulls would win their sixth championship, and he would retire as the greatest player in NBA history. At least, that’s what we believed.
In 2001, Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA, this time with the Washington Wizards. Jordan had become a part-owner of Washington and its head of basketball operations a year before. It was the first time he hadn’t worn a Chicago Bulls jersey since his senior year at North Carolina in 1984.
The Wizards were a squad in dire need of some success. Since 1988, Washington has only made one postseason appearance, in 1996-97, during their last season as the Bullets. The Wizards finished 19-63 in Jordan’s first full season as general manager, earning the number one selection and choosing high schooler Kwame Brown. As a result, when he put on his uniform and entered the floor, his new teammates regarded him with the same respect as the Washington Monument.
Jordan had Tyronn Lue is a professional football player. star-struck.
Michael Jordan poses with the Washington Wizards. | Getty Images/G Fiume
Tyronn Lue joined with the Wizards in 2001 after playing sparingly for three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Jordan had not yet announced his desire to return at that time.
Despite having spent his career alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Lue told The Athletic that playing with Michael Jordan led him to defer… a lot.
“So my first year of playing, I was constantly anxious and always deferring to him.” I’m constantly searching for Jordan, even when I have open shoots. I’m 22 or 23 years old and I’m clutching the ball. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I was just thinking about how much fun it would be to play with him. When I had the ball, I didn’t look for my shot, and I didn’t look for anybody else. Jordan is the person I’m searching for. “It was amazing, like a dream come true,” says the narrator.
Lue, who is currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, was used to playing alongside legends such as Michael Jordan. He had to adapt for a whole season before he was able to do so.
“I became a lot better the second year,” Lue added. “I began in Washington and became a lot more comfortable, but he always pushed me to shoot the hoop aggressively.” It sort of came around for me in my second year. I was able to relax and enjoy myself more, going out to meals with him, hanging out with him, and conversing with him. That helped to loosen up everything else, which was beneficial to me.”
After two seasons with the Wizards, Jordan announced his retirement.
They wouldn’t be teammates for much longer by the time Lue felt comfortable with Jordan. Jordan announced his retirement for good after the 2002-03 season.
Michael averaged 21.2 points on 43.1 percent shooting in two seasons in the nation’s capital. He had several noteworthy moments, like scoring 43 points as a 40-year-old on February 21, 2003, when he was 40 years old. Both seasons, he was named to the All-Star squad, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the All-Star Game’s all-time top scorer.
Unfortunately, the success he had in Chicago did not translate to D.C. Despite being the hottest ticket in town, Jordan’s Washington Wizards finished 37-45 in both of his seasons. After that, they would go another year without making the playoffs until Gilbert Arenas helped them break it in 2004-05.
Jordan, even at his advanced age and handicapped by ailments, led several NBA veterans to become a bit star-struck.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
RELATED: After only one meeting together, Michael Jordan put one of his Charlotte Hornets players “in a daze”: ‘It was my first meeting with him, and it was perhaps the best I’ve ever had.’
Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. He has won 6 NBA championships and 3 Olympic gold medals. Reference: double nickel game.
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