There are plenty reasons why most people call Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan the best player in NBA history.
He was undefeated in six appearances in the Finals. He was one of the league’s greatest scorers. He was considered the best in-game dunker by many.
But for retired great Paul Pierce, it was Jordan’s durability. Pierce used to Jordan as an example to explain why he is a fan of the league’s new 65-game rule.
It means players must participate in 65 games in order to be eligible for postseason awards. During a recent appearance on the The Ticket & Truth podcast, Pierce listed the games Jordan played each season.
Jordan played at least 78 games in all of his 15 seasons that didn’t feature an injury. A foot injury ended his season in 1985-86 after 18 games while knee surgery limited him to 60 games in 2001-02.
“I like the 65-game rule,” Pierce said. “… This is my GOAT. He’s played 99 percent of the games.”
The 65-game rule has been met with criticism from today’s players, including LeBron James. Many felt Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid was injured because he played hurt so he could keep pace with the requirement.
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton was also critical of the rule.
“I think it’s a stupid rule, like plenty of the guys in the league, but this is what the owners want, so as players, we gotta do our job and play in 65 games if we’re able to,” Haliburton said last month “So, that’s what I gotta do, take care of my body to be able to play in those games, and I think you’re seeing other players in the league kind of face the same thing. As long as the owners are happy.”
Shandel Richardson is the publisher of Back In The Day NBA. He can be reached at email@example.com