Welcome to LWOS Basketball department “NBA Time Traveler Series,” the column that imagines which retired player from an NBA franchise one would most want to travel back in time to see them play again in their prime. The LWOS Basketball department will review each of the 30 NBA franchises and which retired player would be their “NBA Time Traveler Player.”
LWOS NBA Time Traveler Series: Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan
Our first installment in our NBA Time Traveler Series is the Chicago Bulls franchise. The selection of Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a no-brainer as the Bulls player that one would want to travel back into time to see play in his prime.
Time Travel to see Michael Jordan Play for Chicago Bulls Again
The Bulls have a rich history of great retired players such as Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, Artis Gilmore and Scottie Pippen. However, none of those players were as accomplished as number 23. It would be a dream to travel back in time to see “Air Jordan” running the court at the United Center or even the Chicago Stadium again.
Many people consider Jordan to be the greatest basketball player of all time. While “the greatest” could be up for debate, no one can reasonably argue that Jordan is not in the discussion over the top players of all time.
Michael Jordan’s Individual Accolades
Jordan not only dominated offensively in winning ten scoring titles, he also won nine All-Defensive First Team honors and three steals titles, including the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Jordan won five Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, six NBA Finals MVP Awards and 14 NBA All-Star Game appearances.
Michael Jordan’s Team Accomplishments
Jordan accomplished more than just individual awards. Jordan led Bulls teams that won six NBA championships, including two separate three-peats from 1991-1993 and 1996-1998. Jordan’s Bulls team in the 1995-1996 season won a record 72 regular-season games.
Three games that one might want to travel back into time to see Jordan play:
1986 Eastern Conference First Round – Game 2 against the Boston Celtics:
Jordan scored 63 points against arguably one of the best teams of all time. The Celtics won 67 regular-season games that year, including 40-1 at home. Jordan also had 5 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocked shots in the game.
1998 NBA Finals Game 6:
“The Shot” game that clinched the Bulls sixth championship and second three-peat against the Utah Jazz. Down three points with 41.9 seconds left, Jordan scored two points within 4 seconds, then stole the ball from Karl Malone and dribbled down the court and hit the game clinching shot to win the championship.
1989 Eastern Conference First Round Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers:
“The Shot II” game where Jordan scored over Craig Ehlo in the remaining seconds of the game to eliminate the Cavaliers in Cleveland. The win was crucial for both franchises. It elevated the Bulls towards dominating the NBA playoffs for the much of the next decade and closed the door on the potential championship run for the previously promising and talented Cavalier team.