Patrick Mahomes vs. Patrick Mahomes Michael Jordan: How the Chiefs quarterback compares to the NBA GOAT after earning his third Super Bowl ring

Patrick Mahomes is the son of a Major League Baseball (MLB) player and the best NFL player in the world. But when he won his third Super Bowl MVP ring for the third time on Sunday, his crossover performance drew comparisons to NBA legends.

There may be some debate as to who is the best basketball player of all time, and there is no doubt that Michael Jordan is the modern-day GOAT for winning championships. Jordan won six championships in eight years with the Chicago Bulls, the kind of dynastic dominance that every professional team athlete chases today, more than 25 years later.

Tom Brady won seven Super Bowl rings in 23 seasons as an NFL quarterback, and indeed ended up winning more championships than Jordan. While Brady has been compared to Jordan in the past, it’s taken to a whole new level now that Mahomes has only half as many championships as Jordan.

Consider what CBS color analyst Tony Romo said on national television after Mahomes and the Chiefs beat the 49ers 25-22 in overtime:

“He’s the best. He’s the standard. Michael Jordan wins a championship again.”

This is not just a comparison. This is a transcendent metaphor. Many among NFL experts have similar sentiments, including two prominent ESPN personalities, Kevin Clark and Damien Woody.

From the profound to the simple, Chalk unintentionally aptly quoted Taylor Swift, the arguments make sense, and Mahomes on the field is the long-awaited true sequel to Jordan on the hardwood. From statistics to empirical evidence, here’s why it makes sense to compare Mahomes to Jordan:

More: Key stats for Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady GOAT debate

Patrick Mahomes and Michael Jordan were in their prime at the same time

Mahomes, 28, just completed his sixth season as the NFL’s starting quarterback. He won’t turn 29 until the start of the 2024 season in September. He was named league MVP twice. While the Patriots’ dynasty was fading, he rose up in the league with the Chiefs. Several future Hall of Fame Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are also close, including Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.

Jordan was in his seventh full-time season in the NBA as the Bulls’ starting shooting guard at age 28 after an injury sidelined him the following year. He subsequently won the league MVP three times. With the Lakers, Celtics and Pistons no longer able to win multiple championships, he rose through the league with the Bulls. Jordan also replaced two other legends, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, as the new clear face (and silhouette) of the NBA.

Jordan just won his sixth season as the NBA scoring champion, his sixth in seven consecutive seasons. Since Mahomes broke through for MVP in 2018, he has been considered the best quarterback in the league, trailing only Aaron Rodgers as the most efficient passer overall. Considering Jordan was in his second decade in the league, in his early to mid-30s, Mahomes was still a long way from greatness.

Patrick Mahomes stays ahead of Michael Jordan’s championship pace

Mahomes earned three Super Bowl rings in six seasons as a starter. Jordan won two NBA championships at the age of 28. He won a third championship at the age of 29, leading the Bulls to their third consecutive championship, kicking off the 1990s. Mahomes is now chasing those 25-year-old feet. It took Jordan longer to turn his elite play into elite wins because he didn’t find the right coach nor the right key complementary players until the late 1980s.

While Jordan had to wait for Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen to provide him with the schematic and trustworthy support he needed on the court, Mahomes immediately connected with Andy Reid and Trave S. Kells linked together. Reid’s play-calling gave Mahomes his triangle offense starting from the jump shot, Steve Spagnuolo provided Mahomes with the complementary defense that Jordan and Pippen could help provide for the Bulls.

Jackson and Pippen joined Jordan in Springfield. Reid, Kelce and Chris Jones will travel to Canton to join Mahomes. Jordan and Mahomes had similar championship compositions on the Bulls then and now the Chiefs. Individual talent is one thing, but the team’s infrastructure ensured Jordan and Mahomes won multiple rings.

More: How Patrick Mahomes’ Super Bowl rhythm compares to other great NFL quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes, like Michael Jordan, doesn’t need much else to get the job done

In addition to Pippen, the Bulls had some great teammates who supported Jordan. They did their job when called upon, but ultimately looking at how different they were from the first “Three Peats” and the second “Three Peats”, they were mostly interchangeable role players.

Mahomes did throw his first ring to Kelce and Tyreek Hill. But in the past two Super Bowls, other than Hill, he’s been doing a good job of getting the receivers in the rotation to make plays. His offensive linemen have had a few inconsistent moments. His defense was solid, the team was below average, but the team was great. He masks key offensive injuries and pairs well with a wide range of running backs as his balance and outside receivers.

Jordan possesses a significant rebounder, a strong center, a skilled passing point guard and a three-point specialist. He delivered alongside unheralded youngsters, fading veterans and a versatile sixth man. Like the Chiefs, the Bulls have an important championship philosophy and core and trust Jordan to do the rest of the big winning work. Mahomes has done it again, and it doesn’t matter who is at a lot of positions.

Patrick Mahomes, like Michael Jordan, stands out in an era of elites

Johnson failed to surpass Jordan in the latter’s first Finals and the former’s last Finals. In the NBA Finals, Jordan also defeated Clyde Drexler and Charles Barkley’s best seasons. During his second championship run, Jordan defeated Karl Malone, John Stockton and Gary Payton. Once Jordan started improving, Bird never had a chance to make the Finals.

Mahomes has only been faced off against two quarterbacks in the postseason: Brady in retirement (twice) and the Bengals’ Joe Burrow (11 times). That’s it. He went 15-0 against other top quarterback contemporaries, including 11-year-old Burrow, as well as Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, Tu. Tagovailoa, Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence.

Jordan shattered the dreams of many other talented NBA players. In the best era of NFL quarterbacks, Mahomes is doing the same thing. Jordan did leave, giving Hakeem Olajuwon’s Rockets a brief window to repeat without Mahomes leading the Chiefs to a playoff victory, with no other team besides the Buccaneers and Rams Plus, there will be intermittent noise as more teams sneak away.

If Jordan played eight straight seasons, no one knows if he would have added two more championship rings, but it’s likely that’s the case. The enemies of the NBA know that no one else can win until someone surpasses Jordan. Mahomes feels the same way.

More: Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid confirm Chiefs are in dynasty era

Patrick Mahomes, like Michael Jordan, is the ultimate clutch magician

Mahomes and Jordan thrive in adversity like few athletes. They don’t mind falling into a huge deficit in the playoffs or facing an early series hole in a best-of-seven game. They could become immune superhumans because they’re out of shape, making all the important plays needed to win games, such as a ton of passers and shooters. Mahomes has many of his own aerial stunts without leaving home. He can also hit fadeaway jumpers at the buzzer, hit responsive shots, and make something out of nothing.

Much like Jordan’s mystique, you just expect Mahomes to eventually get the ball and win the game. It’s even more egregious when he doesn’t pull off an impossible run or pass to keep the drive going or finish it off. It makes you want to throw up your hands and shrug, like Jordan vs. Jordan. Portland hit back-to-back stunning three-pointers in the 1993 NBA Finals.

Patrick Mahomes keeps us in awe like Michael Jordan

What is unprecedented greatness? What is a dynasty? What is the unbeatable champion in today’s team sports? These aren’t just the right responses to a “Jeopardy” moment for Mahomes or Jordan. As we all know, simple clues in the sports category. These are not terms defined by the mind but are known from the gut and heart.

Once you believe what Mahomes and Jordan have done, like few have done before, and see things you’ve never seen before, that’s great, that’s what dynasty championships are. That’s what happens when you hate them for always winning, but secretly love them because you know you’re watching special history.

However you compare Mahomes to Jordan, now or in the future, just enjoy the “his air” vibe that Mahomes gives off, we’re not sure if that will happen again.

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