Jordan's unmerited hype.
Here is a shining example of Jordan using hype to achieve a goal that his abilities alone could not.
Note: this has nothing to do with Jordan's greatness. It only illustrates how people go out of their way to make him better than he was.
The 1988 dunk contest featured a classic duel between Michael Jordan (1985 winner) and Dominique Wilkins (1987 winner) in Chicago. On the last dunk, Jordan tried the free throw line dunk, but he stepped in front of the line. He received a "50" for this. Two years later, Scottie Pippen jumped from behind the free throw line and received a "46" for the same dunk. Surprised? You shouldn't be. What was the difference? Jordan is quite often given more credit than he deserves. You can say that I'm full of sour grapes, but consider the following analysis from fellow participant and 1986 winner, Anthony "Spud" Webb:
"...the finals came down to Jordan and 'Nique. Who won?
Dominique won it by a mile. Who got the trophy? Michael Jordan, because the
hometown judges were not about to give it to anybody else. 'Nique walked off the floor
shaking his head, saying, 'Well this is Michael's town and his show. What are you
gonna do?'" (Flying High by Spud Webb and Reid Slaughter, p. 204).
This style of hype is often used with Jordan. He is called the "best ever" by people who refuse to define their criteria, because Jordan will come up short. His awards are often called out, but when they are put into perspective, it is easy to see that it is simple hype, because using a common comparison will make Jordan come up short.
Recently, ESPN named their 50 greatest athletes of North America. Guess who was #1? Jordan the greatest athlete? He was a one sport athlete, and as this site proves, he wasn't even the best at that. He was a terrible baseball player, and an amateur-caliber golfer. Best ever? They refused to define their criteria. Why? Because many athletes were better than Jordan. Click here to read more about it.
And then there's Jordan's overrated defense.