Paul Pierce Invokes Michael Jordan in Advocacy for 65-Game NBA Season

NBA Players Divided Over Controversial 65-Game Rule

by Zain ul Abedin
Paul Pierce Invokes Michael Jordan in Advocacy for 65-Game NBA Season
© Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Few personalities would occupy as proud a place in the history of the NBA as the legendary Michael Jordan would, who stands as a monument to one of the most remarkable success stories in the annals of the game. Without any doubt, he is one of the greatest in the history of basketball.

While accolades such as six undefeated Finals appearances and the reputation as one of the league's most prolific scorers definitely cement Jordan's legacy, particularly inspiring according to retired NBA star Paul Pierce is Jordan's durability.

And recently Pierce has used Jordan as a strong case to advocate the new NBA 65-game rule, a rule insisting players have to play in at least 65 games to get postseason awards. Speaking on the The Ticket & Truth podcast, it was an open Pierce who emphasized how great Jordan was throughout his career.

The Chicago Bulls icon maintained an incredible run of no less than 78 appearances per each of his 15 injury-free seasons, barring the luckless foot injury that laid him low after 18 games of 1985-86 and knee surgery that limited his appearances to 60 in 2001-02.

Player Reactions to 65-Game Rule

"I like the 65-game rule," Pierce said on the podcast, with added emphasis to the record of Jordan playing 99% of games. "This is my GOAT. He played 99% of the games." Not all current NBA players have accepted the 65-game rule, though.

That was just one voice among a chorus of others who criticized the system, with LeBron James questioning its impacts on player health, citing cases where stars like Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers supposedly played through injuries to meet the mandated threshold.

Even Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton expressed his feelings about the rule. And, hate it as he may, Haliburton admitted that at the end of the day, if it's a league rule, players really don't have much choice. Pierce lobbying for the 65-game rule, as the NBA tries to cope with the many minefields and frustrations of the modern game, drives home the near-vicious nostalgia so many have for NBA heroes of yesteryear, such as Michael Jordan, and the constant evolvement of the game.

Michael Jordan