There is an interesting phenomenon in sports in which fans try to compare the greatest players of all time to one another. The thing is, many of the players people compare often come from hugely different eras of the sport, and in some instances, play completely different styles or positions.
With that said, there are in fact many people with better career statistics and records than the great Michael Jordan. Some NBA players simply managed to outcompete him in terms of overall statistics, while others simply managed to one-up Jordan thanks to different skill sets. Still, many men have surpassed the man often considered the greatest in the history of the sport.
10 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
It’s worth noting that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may actually be one of the most legendary NBA players well ahead of Jordan as he outpaces him by nearly 6,000 total career points. To be fair, Kareem played five more seasons than Jordan ever did, but it is still impressive.
Then, as an impressive center, Kareem was a rebound machine in his day, standing as the man with the third most rebounds in NBA history, Jordan isn’t even in the top 10 in that respect. Still, boh men did have distinctly different styles of play.
9 John Stockton
Jordan was most often seen as the guy to get the ball to rather than the guy who’d pass off the ball or steal the ball (despite him actually being a great ball thief). It’s that very thing that allows John Stockton to sit above Jordan in both assists and steals by a longshot.
Currently holding the record for both most assists and most steals in NBA history, John Stockton is well above the men nearest to him, and Jordan once again isn’t even in the top 10 of either statistic. Again, it’s worth remembering that Jordan was more of a finisher, so the difference makes sense.
8 Wilt Chamberlain
One of the most legendary and historic players of all time is Wilt Chamberlain. He’s the man who still holds the record for the most points in a game at 100, a record that likely will never be beaten in modern NBA basketball.
With that, some might think he was a scoring machine, when in reality he was actually one of the best rebounders of his era. He holds the record for the most rebounds in NBA history, something that won’t surprise many people the more that they dig into Wilt’s history.
7 Lebron James
Yes, whether anyone likes to admit it or not, Lebron James has surpassed Jordan, at least on paper. Lebron sits in second place for the most points in NBA history, something that he could potentially change if he continues to play at high levels. MJ is currently ranked in fifth place in that regard.
Another stat, albeit a bit funnier, is that Lebron James also has surpassed Jordan by miles in terms of turnovers. People can complain about their favorite stars and turnovers, but Lebron has the most in NBA history, and that number is still climbing.
6 Stephen Curry
Jordan was no slouch shooting threes, but that was never the focus of his game. He was at his best when he was driving into the rim, something that puts him in a high contrast when compared to Steph Curry.
Curry is often regarded as the best three-point shot in NBA history and it’s not hard to see why. He holds the record for most three pointers made, and he doesn’t even hold the record for most three pointers attempted (though that could change soon). Curry is a three-point monster, putting him on the same level as Jordan, but in a different way.
5 Karl Malone
An often forgotten name when talking about the best players in NBA history is Karl Malone. A lot of people seem to not even realize that he has more points than Michael Jordan by a fairly solid margin.
Outside of that, Malone was always a reliable option on the free throw line, making him the man with the most free throws made and attempted in NBA history. He crushes Jordan in both of those statistics to an even greater extent than his accomplishments with points.
4 Jason Kidd
As mentioned previously, Jordan doesn’t often get the credit he deserves for his skill with stealing the ball. He actually sits with the third most steals in NBA history. Unfortunately, he was beaten by Jason Kidd by just over a hundred steals.
Kidd doesn’t just surpass Jordan in steals, he also has more assists. It’s fair to say that a lot of players had trouble handling Kidd’s dynamic play and his ability to not only regain possession but also feed the ball to his team’s best scorers.
3 Vince Carter
When someone loves basketball as much as Vince Carter, it’s hard for anyone to play as many games as he has. While he doesn’t hold the record for the most games played in NBA history, he does deserve a mention as he sits in the number three spot.
Once again, Jordan doesn’t even crack the top 10, something that likely has to do with his various injuries and other pursuits. Carter sits at 1,541 games played, only a single season shy of taking the number one spot.
2 Kobe Bryant
Most people are well aware of the fact that Kobe Bryant managed to surpass Jordan in a number of different ways. The biggest way that he managed to beat him was with points. Bryant sits above Jordan on the NBA rankings for points with just over a thousand ahead of him.
He is also apparently a more reliable free-throw shooter as Bryant is above Jordan on the NBA free-throw rankings. Since Lebron had some fun poked at him, it’s always worth pointing out that Bryant has significantly more turnovers than Jordan.
1 Shaquille O’Neal
A lot of people know that Shaq is one of the best players of all time, but they may not know that he actually did surpass Jordan in quite a few ways. While he never beat him in points, he did beat him in rebounds and blocks thanks to their different styles of play.
Shaq couldn’t be stopped at the rim, and as a result, is one of the top-ranked men for both offensive and defensive rebounds. Jordan wasn’t known for blocking, but Shaq wasn’t about to let people get to his net, making him one of the top-ranked blockers in NBA history.