Chicago Bulls: 5 NBA legends that had Michael Jordan’s number

Chicago Bulls (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images) /
2 of 6
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

5. Larry Bird, Boston Celtics

Record: 11-17 regular season, 0-6 playoffs

Before I get into this list, I wanted to give mention to a good piece to look at in reference to the players and teams Jordan had a difficult time against during his playing days, thanks to Hoops Hype. That piece from Hoops Hype ranks out the winning percentages that NBA legends had in their careers against Jordan in his time with the Bulls and Washington Wizards.

Now let’s get into it.

The first name on the list is the former Boston Celtics superstar 6-foot-9 forward Larry Bird. Since the Celtics were a dominant force in the NBA in the 1980’s, there’s a number of players from those teams that could be considered against Jordan. Even when Jordan put his best foot forward in his early days against the Celtics, it was largely to no avail.

That ultra-memorable 1986 first round playoff series between the Bulls and Celtics saw Jordan combine for more than 110 points in the first two games. But the Bulls were still swept in a three-game series by Bird, Danny Ainge and the Celtics. That didn’t take away from how impressed Bird apparently was by the absolute show that Jordan put on in the 1986 playoffs.

Bird still held a record of 17-11 in the regular season, and an undefeated 6-0 in the playoffs, in his NBA career against Jordan and the Bulls. In the 28 regular season games that Bird played against Jordan and the Bulls, he averaged 26.9 points per game, 8.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.4 steals, while shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Bird averaged an even more impressive 27.2 points per game, 9.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.5 steals.