November 8, 2012 BY John Kim
The art of “sonning” is achieved without planning or preparation – it just happens if you’ve got that natural bravado in you. There have been several moments in Jordan’s career during which he mercilessly “sonned” an opponent by hitting clutch shots and whatnot, but in this masterful display of defensive awareness and hustle, Michael pretty much told Ron Mercer to sit his %$# down. Tonight’s Sneaker News: Was It The Shoes? takes a look back at one of the most gut-wrenching defensive plays in history, so get the popcorn ready and read on below.
The shot-block is an art-form mastered only by a select few players in NBA history. Height is just one of the factors of being an effective shot-blocker; it’s all about instinct, defensive awareness, and hustle, which clearly explains why a 7’0″ behemoth like Eddy Curry has a career blocks-per-game average of 0.7. Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell is undeniably the greatest shot-blocker in NBA history, as his masterful defensive prowess not only denied his opponents, but sparked fast breaks to the opposite end. But does Russell, or other greats like Dikembe Mutumbo and Mark Eaton have the distinction of owning the best block in NBA history? A strong argument could go in favor of 6’6″ guard Michael Jordan.
Like most NBA guards who patrolled the perimeter on the defensive end, Michael Jordan never amassed a ton of blocked shots. He did average 1.6 a game during his MVP season in ’88, but overall, his defensive praise was primarily for his man-to-man D and thievery. But the block we’re focusing on didn’t happen during his early years when his best legs were under him, but during his first come-back season with the Washington Wizards at the age of 39.
Filed under: Air Jordan