And yet nearly every time he met Bird in a big spot, while Bird was healthy, he got taken.
I'd argue that had it not been for the mighty Laker teams Bird would have had 6 rings. Had it not been for the Celtics, Magic would have 6 to 8.
Jordan beat an old on the down slide Lakers team for his first ring. Except for the Utah Jazz team, he never had near the competition Bird and Magic had with each others dynasties and the Detroit and Philadelphia 80's teams.
Until Joe Dumars retired, Jordan always had to deal with him. Even Jordan says no one else could guard him like Joe D.
If I were Jordan, I would have preferred the occasional elbow to the head from Laimbeer than the diligence of Joe.