A breakdown of Jordan’s five strongest opponents in his career

1. Charles Barkley: In the 1993 NBA Finals, Jordan faced Barkley and his triple-double performance of 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists was impressive. Barkley was a tough opponent who once won the MVP award over Jordan.

2. Clyde Drexler: Both shooting guards, Jordan and Drexler were rivals with their own styles of play. In the 1992 Finals, Drexler showcased his skills despite losing to Jordan's Bulls.

3. Karl Malone: Jordan and Malone met in the Finals for two consecutive years. Malone's leadership and tough character posed a challenge, but Jordan's iconic steal and shot showed respect.

4. Larry Bird: Bird dominated the Eastern Conference in the late 1980s, overshadowing a young Jordan. Although Jordan never eliminated Bird in the playoffs, Bird played a critical role in his development.

5. Isiah Thomas: Thomas led the "Bad Boys" Pistons, who repeatedly eliminated the Bulls in the playoffs. Overcoming the Pistons in the 1990s was a crucial step for Jordan's journey to greatness. Jordan's path to six championships was shaped by these formidable adversaries.