With Michael Jeffrey Jordan turning 54 on Friday (Feb. 17), it’s only right that we celebrate the best basketball player of all time. Six championships, five MVPs, and the No. 23 are synonymous with one man, MJ. With all the accolades and big shots that will never be forgotten, it’s tough to grind down a career that spanned three decades into 10 moments, but that is what debate is all about. Without further ado, here are the top 10 moments of Michael Jordan’s legendary basketball career.
10. Jordan comes out of retirement to drop 55 on the New York Knicks at MSG
Michael Jordan returns from his first retirement on March 18, 1995 to give the Knicks 55 points to the dismay of the Garden crowd, showing he’s still got it.
9. 1988 Slam Dunk Contest
MJ went on to defeat high-flyer Dominique Wilkins in a controversial dunk contest result. Nonetheless, it was epic. You probably won’t see dunks like this in the contest ever again.
8. Michael Jordan Wins 4th Championship on Father’s Day
Jordan took home his fourth championship as the Bulls went on to defeat the Sonics in ’96, 4-2. This was his first title since his father’s passing.
7. “The Dunk” on Patrick Ewing
MJ posterizes Patrick Ewing in the 1991 NBA Playoffs.
6. Jordan hangs in the air and switches hands for a signature moment
One of the most athletic layups you will ever see. Jordan hangs in the hair for an eternity against the Los Angeles Lakers.
5. “The Shrug”
Sometimes Jordan would even impress himself, as he caught fire in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals against Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers. The camera caught his signature shrug after drilling another three pointer, that has become a popular GIF.
4. MJ drops an NBA record 63 points against the Boston Celtics in the 1986 Playoffs
Jordan got the best of Larry Bird in this Game 2 matchup.
3. MJ crushes Cleveland’s hopes and dreams
Jordan drills the game winning jump shot over Craig Ehlo to clinch a playoff series win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2. The Flu Game
Jordan fights through the flu to lead the Bulls with 38 points to defeat the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals.
1. Jordan’s iconic final shot as a Chicago Bull
Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. MJ hits the game-winning jumper on Byron Russell to power Chicago with 45 points to its sixth championship.