|ESPN.com: NBA Playoffs 2011||[Print without images]|
|It took seven hard years for MJ to win a title. And then it took him only seven years to win five more.|
Editor's note: We're ranking the best Finals performances since the NBA-ABA merger.
We remember Jordan's first championship as much for the crying jag that followed as for what he did on the court, but he was at the peak of his powers and produced an impressive effort.
He pumped in 31.2 points per game for the series, but he was a more active passer than usual: He averaged 11.4 assists, including several dishes to John Paxson down the stretch of Game 5, when Jordan took a rare backseat to a hot teammate.
Nonetheless, His Airness dominated throughout. His 31.5 PER for the series was the third-best since the merger, and he practically won Game 3 by himself -- he played all but one minute, hit the game-tying shot at the end of regulation and scored six points in the overtime.
Game 2 was highlighted by "Oh, a spectacular move ... by Michael Jordan!" as he drove down the middle and went up with the right hand, then brought the ball down and finished with the left, all at his usual cruising altitude.
John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider. To e-mail him, click here.
Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference.com contributed research to this list.