Michael Jordan’s nine All-Defensive 1st team selection still has Rasheed Wallace unimpressed

There is no doubt that Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. A player who could dominate the court with ease while defending with great excellence, Jordan was much ahead of his time in terms of skill and talent.

Not according to former NBA player Rasheed Wallace, however, who believes Michael Jordan did not deserve all the credit and accolades for his modest defensive attributes.

Rasheed Wallace discredits Michael Jordan’s defensive acumen

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is known and respected for his unique ability to be his team’s leading offensive threat, especially in desperate situations, while also being a vicious defender, who would guard his player like a fortress. For his defensive contributions, His Airness received nine first-team All-NBA Defensive Team selections which is the NBA record for the most defensive team selections, tied with other legends like Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe.

The 6’6″ Jordan often used to scare the life against his opponents. In his first row of selections, Jordan was selected for the first-team for six straight years from 1988 to 1993. Following his short stint in baseball, the superstar returned and resumed his elite performances with another string of selections from 1996 to 1998.

Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Wallace does not believe Jordan deserves his defensive accolades via USA Today Sports

However, Jordan’s glorious selection don’t sit right with one of the core members of the 2004 Bad Boy Pistons, Rasheed Wallace, who believes that Jordan wasn’t as great a defender as people claimed him to be.

Wallace said, “Michael wasn’t all that good of a defender. All that’s NBA s***, We like Mike, we gonna put him up there. I’m talking about being out there. I seen this m—–f—– get his a** bust, where he couldn’t stop a m—–f—–. I’m not saying he didn’t play defense. I’m just saying that his defense wasn’t as high as most other cats at that time.”

According to Wallace, Jordan wasn’t deserving of his nine defensive team selections and underscored that the choices were merely a result of the NBA’s favoritism towards Michael Jordan, thereby discrediting Jordan’s defensive reputation. While Rasheed Wallace is entitled to his opinion, it is impossible to overlook Jordan’s 1987-88 season, especially considering his All-NBA defensive team snub the previous year.

Jordan bagged Defensive Player of the Year in his iconic 87-88 season

In Jordan’s historic 1987-88 season, the superstar had a phenomenal burst of performances for the Chicago Bulls, fueled with unstoppable pace and athleticism. Playing all 82 games of the Chicago Bulls, the legend averaged a whopping 35 points per game, coupled along with 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

Michael Jordan
Jordan’s 1987-1988 NBA season was beyond spectacular via USA Today Sports

While the stats in itself are impeccable, Jordan went on to bag almost all the individual trophies available to a player. Leaving no stone unturned, Jordan won the 1987-88 NBA Most Valuable Player award and the 87-88 season All-Star Game MVP, along with the season’s Defensive Player of The Year.

Apart from this, Jordan was also the winner of the dunk contest and secured the scoring title and steal title for the same season. To top it all, Jordan was selected to the All-NBA first team and also secured a spot on the All-NBA All-Defensive first team.

What are your thoughts on Rasheed Wallace’s comments on Michael Jordan’s defense? Is Michael Jordan one of the best two-players of all-time? We are eager to know your thoughts and opinions on the conversation, so feel free to comment below.

Caleb Mathew

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Feel free to reach out to me at @calebmathewww on Instagram.


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