How Michael Jordan’s Brief Stint as Point Guard Missed The Cut For Being a Part of the Last Dance

Published 08/24/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Basketball player Michael Jordan clenches his fist while sitting on the bench during a game at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. (Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)


The stories about Michael Jordan and his greatness never seem to fall short. In fact, fans don’t mind hearing about it either. However, the Chicago Bulls weren’t the most elite team during the 1988-89 season. But Jordan was doing his best to get them on the right track. So, head coach Doug Collins decided to make a move that ended up changing the fate of the Bulls for good. Michael Jordan ended up playing at the point guard position, something that wasn’t included in the ‘Last Dance’ either.

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Could Michael Jordan have been a stellar point guard?

Michael Johnson #23, shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls prepares to make a shot during a Central Division game in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 1988 – 1989 season at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

‘The Last Dance’ encapsulates the Chicago Bulls and Jordan’s legacy beautifully. Yet, there are some stories that never made it into the docuseries. One being, Jordan’s small point guard stint for the franchise. At the time, the Bulls’ original PG Sam Vincent was unable to run the offense and when MJ brought it up to Doug, Jordan was made to play point instead.

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Just recovering from a groin injury, Jordan’s first game as a point guard was March 11 against the Seattle Supersonics, in which he surpassed all expectations. He not only averaged 30.4 points, 10.7 assists, and 9.2 rebounds per game, he was also able to put up 10 triple-doubles out of 11 games. Even during the 1989 playoffs, 7 double-digit assist matches, something only Kobe Bryant did 9 times in his entire career.

This completely changed the way the Bulls were looked at in the league. Jordan even led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. Although they lost, Jordan let everyone know that he was out for blood.

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What changed for the Chicago Bulls?

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Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Their fall to the Pistons had Chicago firing Collins. So, when Phil Jackson came aboard, he decided that the Triangle offense would help lessen the load on MJ’s scoring and playmaking. So, Jordan ended up going back to his original position of shooting guard the following season.

B. J. Armstrong and John Paxson picked it up from there. But what people came to know afterward is that with one switch, Jordan could become one of the best point guards in the league. And how dangerous this could be for all opposing teams, and that’s why MJ is the GOAT.

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Yashima Bhatia

1489 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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