Michael Jordan was a great player and an even greater person. He is probably one of the most iconic figures in sports history, but his legacy has been tainted by some recent decisions made by NBA owners. This past week though, he gave Marques Johnson another shot at making it to the Hall of Fame when Jordan selected him for this year’s Blue Ribbon Panel Award recipients.
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When Marques Johnson’s name was mentioned as one of the possible snubs on the NBA 75 list, several basketball fans were confused. Michael Jordan’s affection for Johnson, on the other hand, has been obvious for years, which is something that all fans should be aware of.
Michael Jordan could only dream of achieving the same level of popularity as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird before gaining the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “Money.” He also had a soft spot for Johnson, who remains one of the underappreciated talents of the 1970s and 1980s.
On his wall, Michael Jordan had a poster of Marques Johnson.
After shooting the game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship Game, Michael Jordan became a national superstar. Despite the fact that MJ went on to become one of the finest players in the nation while at North Carolina, he was still a very inexperienced young man who hoped to be as good as some of his NBA idols.
Former Marques Johnson was one of those heroes.
Jordan was seen pointing to a picture of Johnson on his wall in an old scene from the popular ESPN docuseries The Last Dance. “MJ’s fave MJ…,” Johnson tweeted in response to the incident. Mike, I like you as well.”
Jordan admired a number of people, including David Thompson, who was his presenter during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction. The Last Dance’s short mention of Johnson is all the more poignant now that the former Milwaukee Bucks great was left off the NBA 75 list.
Michael Jordan was named to the NBA 75 team, while Johnson was left out.
It was never in question that Michael Jordan would be named to the NBA 75 team. Marques Johnson, on the other hand? He didn’t quite make it.
As part of the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, the league named its 75 finest players in league history. The list was voted on by the media, and it was effectively a 25-player enlargement of the 50 best players honored at All-Star weekend in 1997.
On the one hand, the decision to trim is rather arbitrary. There’s little doubt that Jordan, widely regarded as the best player in NBA history, deserves to be chosen unanimously. However, due to subjectivity, the final 25 players are likely to differ significantly.
Johnson’s name may have been on a few ballots. Other snubs, like as Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, and Vince Carter, are likely to face the same fate. However, he was not picked in the end.
Jordan’s admiration for Johnson, on the other hand, demonstrates how terrific he was in his heyday.
Johnson was regarded as one of the greatest wingers of his generation.
Michael Jordan (L) and Marques Johnson (R) | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images | Left to Right: Michael Jordan and Marques Johnson and Getty Images/Dylan Buell
For some reason, there appears to be a link between former Milwaukee Bucks players and being perpetually underappreciated. This is also true of Sidney Moncrief, another player that Michael Jordan admired greatly. Marques Johnson is no exception.
In six separate seasons, the Crenshaw native averaged 20 points or more. With career averages of 20.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, he was named to five All-Star teams and three All-NBA teams. Johnson’s postseason resume is also outstanding, with 21.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 54 playoff games.
One of the factors going against Johnson is that he only played 11 seasons due to a neck ailment that cut his heyday short. He, too, never won a title. But it’s difficult to overlook his status as one of the top wing players of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Johnson did not make the NBA 75 roster. Jordan, on the other hand, has always admired him. Perhaps that’s all that counts.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: Former Milwaukee Bucks great Marques Johnson Takes Home The Trophy For His Hilarious Reaction To Being Left Off The NBA 75 List
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