Athlete Number 23 - Michael Jordan

Is there even a discussion here? Michael Jordan, wearing number 23 for the Chicago Bulls, may be the best athlete on this list. Many people consider him the best basketball player ever. He could absolutely take over a basketball game. It was an entirely different game when he was on the court versus on the bench - which was rare. He could drive the lane, shoot from anywhere, dazzle with his acrobatics, play defense and win. Jordan was passionate about winning. This proved to be true on the basketball court, golf course or playing cards with his teammates. His drive to win led to his credentials as the best athlete to wear number 23, here:
  • 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year
  • MVP of the NBA for: 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998
  • MVP of NBA Finals: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998 (every year he was in it)
  • 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • 32,292 career points (third most when he retired, behind Kareem and Karl Malone)
  • 10-time NBA scoring leader (seven consecutive)
  • All-Star game MVP in 1988, 1996, and 1998
  • 33.6 PPG average in six NBA finals
  • Named the greatest athlete of the century by ESPN in 1999

Buy a Michael Jordan 23 Bulls Jersey on eBay

Did you know.....Michael played professional baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization for the Birmingham Barons? (photo courtesy of

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  1. NY Jints Faithful11:52 AM

    No question about this pick. Hopefully in 20 years we'll be debating whether MJ or LeBron James deserve this honor.

  2. Anonymous9:34 PM

    I don't think that Lebron will ever be able to do for basketball what Michael did. He is far and away the best.

  3. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Don't even joke about Lebron being comparable to MJ. Lebron is nothing compared to His Airness.

  4. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Who's Lebron James? Noone will ever come close to MJ...ever.

  5. Anonymous11:02 AM

    MJ may be the best athlete ever, but Ryne Sandburg wasn't bad.

  6. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Who's MJ? Don Mattingly.

  7. LeBron should have picked a different number, Jordan could take this and 45

  8. Its a good thing LeBron is a couple inches taller and can jump higher. Lets set one thing straight LeBron came straight fom high school while MJ got cut in high school, im sorry but in 15-20 years there will be no debate. Lebron all the way...

  9. Anonymous5:00 PM

    LeBron will never be better than MJ. Some of MJ's best games were in the playoffs while some of Lebron's worst game were in the playoffs. You don't best the greatest man to step on the courts by getting ghost in the playoffs.

  10. Anonymous10:06 PM

    Wow tarheelfan, you displayed some really great logic there. It doesnt matter what MJ has accomplished, or how much better MJ plays when in the playoffs, or how many NBA Championships MJ won... LeBron is better than MJ because "he is taller, jumps higher, and was drafted out of high school."

  11. clearly,ryne sandberg greatest 23 of all time

  12. Anonymous4:14 AM

    Saying LeBron will be better in 15-20 years than Michael Jordan is a stretch. How does a tar heel fan even get away with saying that.

    Making that comparison is like sizing up TO to Jerry Rice. TO has far superior physical tools, but Jerry had the fiercest drive for anyone to play that position. Because of this, Jerry and Michael are the greatest.

  13. Anonymous2:14 PM

    For a Tarheel fan to go against Jordan is insane...ignore him

  14. Anonymous10:58 AM

    This is a crock. Everyone knows that Oil Can Boyd is and always will be the ultimate #23!

  15. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Lebron compared to MJ?
    you're kidding right?
    from a "tarheels fan"?

    and anyway, he was cut as a sophomore trying to get onto his school's varsity team, because he was too small.

    how does his height prior to his professional career have anything to do with the BEST #23 PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE

    that says professional athlete right?

  16. Modeno4:19 PM

    Lebron being compared to MJ, Just stop it. Its like comparing my daughter's finger paintings to Van gogh.

    1. Awesome analogy. I couldn't have put it better.

  17. Anonymous10:37 PM

    It;s impossible to ever compare these two great athletes based on stats because they are from two completely different eras we all must agree though MJ changed the game of basketball and so will The King

  18. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Lebron will never be as good as Jordan!

  19. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Lebron will never eclipse Jordon's legacy.

  20. bullsfan6:45 PM

    Is this even a discussion? Mike literally cant touch LeBron. Lebron will take 6 23. And 45 just for the fact that mike wore it.

  21. Anonymous6:05 AM

    As good as Jordan was how many positions could he play? Did he revolutionize the way Shooting guard was played? Magic could play multiple positions and changed the way point guard was played. Jordan was good but Magic is the GOAT for basketball. That being said Jordan is the obvious choice for 23.


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