Jay C. Brandriet
When I say best NBA MVP season ever?
I’m judging this by everything that occurs in the regular season.
It is after all, a regular season award.
Every Most Valuable Player matters.
Picture Shaq and LeBron at their best.
Think of Alcindor (Kareem) in Milwaukee, or anything Wilt.
Steph Curry at 6’3″, performed so well he received every vote.
Michael Jordan has five MVP seasons to choose from.
The best NBA/MVP season ever? 1988 Jordan.
WHO THE 1988 CHICAGO BULLS WERE, AND THE RESULTS
Michael’s teammates were Charles Oakley, Dave Corzine, Sam Vincent and Brad Sellers. Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant were 22-year-old rookies. Phil Jackson was an assistant, new to the Chicago staff.
This was an “Air Jordan” production.
The Bulls finished 50-32, trailing only Boston and Detroit in the stronger Eastern conference.
SHOW ME A BETTER MVP SEASON THAN THIS ONE
Michael won the scoring title, averaging 35 a night.
He shot 53.5% from the field (13th in the NBA).
He was the Defensive Player of the Year.
Number one in player efficiency rating (PER).
The 37.71 is the seventh highest total achieved. The six guys ahead of him are seven footers.
Number one in win shares, and offensive win shares.
Number one in box plus/minus on offense and defense.
Number one in value over replacement player.
League leader in minutes, field goals, and free throws made.
Mike added 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and hit 84.1% of his foul shots.
He led the league in steals (3.2 per game is the 8th best mark of all time).
Jordan had 131 blocked shots. It remains the most recorded by a guard in history.
To say he was dunk champ, may seem like a cheesy addition.
It’s not. You had to live through it.
Save your, “dunks are way better today” take.
They are. Things evolve.
They don’t evolve without number 23.
Images Jordan created that weekend, will forever be a part of basketball.
For MJ, Dominique, and Drexler to go at it like that? It’s hard to imagine superstars making themselves that vulnerable today. The performance didn’t just shape the dunk, it felt needed.
The following day, Jordan played one of the best All-Star games the mid-season classic has seen.
His MVP outing included 40 points on 17/23 shooting. He hit all 6 of his free throws. The stat sheet was rounded out with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, and 4 blocks.
The guys Michael beat out for MVP in 1988, were legends on fire.
Larry Bird had his best statistical season.
Magic, Barkley, Dominique, and Drexler were electric.
In a physical NBA with a crowded paint, a guard dropped a clean shooting, 35 a night. He did this while constantly destroying big men at the rim. In 82 games, he attempted 53 three pointers. Oh, on the side? He was the best defensive player in the NBA.
Jordan’s best, is the best I’ve ever seen.
The 1987-88 regular season, is one of many examples why.
Jay C. Brandriet