Michael Jordan retired as the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game, a title he still holds. He scored 40 or more points 211 times, 50 or more 39 times and 60 or more 5 times, with a career-high of 69 in a 1990 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He holds so many scoring records that Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to his achievements. To put it in SAT terms, Michael Jordan : scoring :: Jay Leno : wearing all-denim outfits (i.e. the best).

But according to Scottie Pippen, that’s the just the tip of the iceberg for what MJ could have accomplished. According to Pip, if Jordan played today, he’d be even more of the best scorer ever. From CSN Chicago:

“The game now is so offensively driven,” Pippen said. “It’s so easy for an offensive player to keep his aggressiveness with the basketball player.”

Pippen said Michael Jordan could average over 40 points per game in today’s game. Pippen said that whatever the highest guy in the league was, Jordan could just do more if he wanted to. He also said Jordan could score 100 points in a game today.

Bold claims, Pip. Not entirely crazy, but certainly bold, considering the only guy to ever average 40 for a season was Wilt Chamberlain, who did it twice.

Averaging 40 a game obviously isn’t easy but it’s not outside the realm of possibility given the rule changes that have taken place in the NBA. In fact, Jordan’s best season (37 a game in 1987) left him just 239 points short of averaging 40, and that’s only one more made field goal and one more free throw a night. There’s a very good chance 1987 Michael Jordan could put up 40 points a game in today’s NBA.

The 100 point game, however, is a bit trickier. The closest anyone’s ever come was Kobe Bryant’s 81-point explosion in 2006. During that game, Kobe took 46 shots and 20 free throws in 42 minutes. Jordan took that many shots only once, and never took that many shots during a game where he shot 20 or more free throws. Plus, Kobe shot the lights out from three that night, going 7-13. Only once in his career did Jordan take 10 or more threes while making at least five of them. Not to mention, Kobe was still 19 points shy of 100. Simply put, scoring 100 points in a game is basically impossible. Unless, of course, you’re a crazy athletic 7-foot-1 behemoth playing against a bunch of 6-foot-6 slobs who you let score in order to get the ball back.

Then again, if I had to wager on anyone being able to score 100 points in a game, I guess I’d take my chances with Michael Jordan. He seems to enjoy doing things that people tell him he can’t do.

(via PBT)

Comments (13)

  1. grumpy old coots, move on.

  2. “Simply put, scoring 100 points in a game is basically impossible. Unless, of course, you’re a crazy athletic 7-foot-1 behemoth playing against a bunch of 6-foot-6 slobs who you let score in order to get the ball back.”

    I see this comment a lot when people talk about Wilt’s (lack of) competition, but that night didn’t the Knicks have one or two guys that were 6’10″? Maybe Todd McCullough-type players, but certainly not lacking in size?

  3. great pic – MJ wearing the Jordan II’s with ET and Sedale Threatt on the court. and granville waiters on the bench!

  4. Well, I wouldn’t bet against Mj either, but all this talk about the game being “offensively driven” seems fishy. The league average for Defensive Rating in 1987/88 is worse than in Kobe’s 2005/2006 season. And if you take a look at the Bulls’ pace in the 87/88 season: they were last in the league and still had 5 more possessions per game than the Lakers in 2005/06.

  5. i agree with Pip. kobe dropped 81 on a scrubby raptor team. you think for a minute that MJ couldnt drop 100 on that same team or the crappy nets team last year who barely won 10 games? or even todays cavs? of course he could.

  6. pip also needs to remember the quality of the athletes in the league in general at the time was way worse than today. i’m pretty sure nine out of ten shlubs at my gym has better muscle definition than the guys in that snapshot up there. nba players are bigger, stronger, and faster. i’m not saying he couldn’t drop a hundo, just that all this talk about how he’d run shit is a little off.

  7. Well, if The Machine can score 30 any time he wants to, I guess Jordan score 100, if you know what I mean.

    Or, if you want to jestimate it based on rings, Robert Horry ought to be able to score about 110, with half on end of quarter buzzer beaters.

    In any case, is Scottie sucking up for a job? First he plays in the All-Star celeb game, (and takes my two hundred bucks to block the shit out of Bieber), his attempt to get on DWTS, and now this…

  8. Jordan playing with todays rules? Nah – he was one of the all time greats, but also one of the most protected players of all time on top of that. Ewing/Hackeem took nightly beatings while looking at Jordan drew a foul.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see a 100 point game again (well for the first time – we need some Zapruder footage of Wilt’s 100 pt game).

  9. Why he might be able to do this is he was the best of two things. He was and an amazing basketball talent and a great performer…he loved the stage and the role of hero. If he had the challenged issued in his 1990 body, with the right team around him, he would put on his cape and score 100.

  10. What a bunch of bull shit. He’s retired, move on.Hypotheticals like this are just mental masturbation.

  11. Two rules of note to this round of ” mental masturbation.”

    1) In Wilt’s days there was no offensive interference OR offensive goal tending. Wilt’s team mates shot up the ball and Wilt either deflected them in and/or cleaned up the rolling rebound aka international style. And being at least 2-3 inches taller than any other guy on the floor allowed him to do this. Sure Wilt played within the rules, but really Kobe’s 81 was more pure shooting.

    2) MJ had the luxury of the old defensive rules. No zones and players having to stick to their man (or over commit to help defense) gave MJ one-on-ones all night long. I’d say he had a decent chance at making 100 today, only because of his pure shooting.

    In today’s game the only player that would have a remote chance at 100 is LBJ…on a different team that wasnt demanding the ball. In other words, no one.

  12. If players like Tony Delk and Andre Miller can score 50 points in a game, I’m pretty sure MJ, Kobe, LBJ, Wade, Durant or even Young Shaq or Young Iverson could score 100 in a single game.

    In the normal flow of a NBA game, it’s as close to impossible as you can get. But in a meaningless game where every player on the team played the game with that single goal in mind, I wouldn’t bet against it. And you’d be mad to bet against Michael Jordan.

    And it would help if they played against the Raptors.

    Conclusion : it won’t happen, but it’s definitely possible.

  13. No! MJ couldn’t score 100 today!!! He played against crappy teams in his day too!, 100pts?!! Forget 100 he didn’t even score 90, 80 or 70! Hell, he needed o.t .or double o.t. to get in the high 60′s! And it wasn’t for lack of trying considering he has the highest fga per game since Elgin Baylor! Even having a steady dose of undersized Joe Dumars (6’3″, ha!) and ohers. Stop it, get off his jock! And don’t even start with the hand-checking B.S.!
    The Jordan hype is ridiculous and hilarious!!!

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