It’s hard to believe that a man who was named the greatest basketball player of all time is on the wrong side of 40. But, that’s exactly what happened on Monday. The Chicago Bulls have released their list of top 20 all-time players. And, on it was number 4, Michael Jordan.
The title says it all. In the 1989 NBA finals, a young Michael Jordan made his first playoff appearance (against his idol, Larry Bird). Many would agree that Jordan himself couldn’t have done that. In fact, the Lakers won the first 6 games of the series, but the Bulls stormed back to win the last 5, leading to one of the most memorable titles in sports history.
When you think about it, it’s pretty incredible that Michael Jordan has achieved the level of success that he has. Looking at the guy without the Michael Jordan jersey on, he’s just a regular guy with average build (at best). But when he puts on that jersey, it’s like he’s a completely different guy. And this athleticism is not just a byproduct of the jersey. Michael Jordan has been playing like that his entire life. He has the best initial burst in the NBA. He has the quickest release on his shot. He’s widely considered the best defensive point guard in NBA history. And he’s an overall freak athlete, which he uses to his advantage. For example, he can jump over a car, or hang ten on. Read more about why michael jordan is the goat and let us know what you think.
While the current GOAT discussion in the NBA frequently boils down to LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan, there are more contenders. Some people argue in favor of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kobe Bryant. However, ESPN’s First Take’s Stephen A. Smith believes there is room in the discussion for another player. Stephen Curry, according to the long-time commentator, has a claim to a portion of the GOAT designation.
Curry, 33, had a rebirth season in 2020–21 after an injury-plagued 2019–20 season. Curry nearly took the Golden State Warriors to the playoffs last season despite the absence of Klay Thompson. He received a lot of MVP support as a result, and he came in third place in the voting. Since the media took over the MVP vote in 1980–81, that is the highest finish for a player from a non-playoff team.
Is it possible for Curry to stake a real claim to the title of GOAT?
Stephen Curry was at the forefront of a new offensive era.
3-point attempts skyrocketed after the NBA made the mistake of reducing the 3-point line to 22 feet for three seasons starting in 1994. The New York Knicks’ John Starks established a record with 611 3-point tries in 1994–95. The next season, George McCloud, who was playing for the Dallas Mavericks at the time, broke the record.
For 20 seasons, McCloud held the record for most triple tries with 678. Stephen Curry shattered that mark in 2015-16 while shooting from the line’s original dimensions. Curry made 886 3-point tries that season, more than 200 more than McCloud’s previous high.
To put Curry’s record of 5,265 points in a season in context, a player would have to score 5,265 points in a season to beat Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 4,029 by the same margin. With 1,028 3-point attempts in 2018–19, James Harden set a new record for 3-point attempts. Curry was on pace to break that record last season, averaging 12.7 attempts per game in 63 games.
At the age of 33, Curry became the NBA’s third-oldest scoring champion. Only Michael Jordan was the only player to win the NBA at a later age. Curry is one of the most dynamic offensive players in NBA history, with a repertoire that works from both the outside and the inside. Is he, however, the best?
As an attacking player, Smith compares Curry to Michael Jordan.
ESPN’s celebrity Stephen A. Smith isn’t going to go so far as to call Stephen Curry the GOAT. He believes, though, that the Warriors’ player can compete with Jordan as the offensive GOAT. That is, if there is such a thing.
His logic is straightforward, perhaps even simplistic. Curry’s shooting, on the other hand, puts him at a level few other players have achieved, according to Smith. Curry, in particular, shoots in a fashion that most onlookers describe as:
“Michael Jordan won’t be able to do it.”
Stephen Curry’s shooting, according to Stephen A. Smith
Curry has a lifetime 3-point shooting percentage of 43.3 percent on 8.6 tries per game. That’s good for eighth place all-time. However, none of the players ahead of Curry have shot at the same volume as Curry. The top six in terms of attempts per game are as follows:
- Kerr, Steve (45.4 percent , 1.8 attempts per game)
- Curry, Seth (44.4 percent , 4.1)
- Davis, Hubert (44.1 percent , 2.4)
- Joe Harris is a well-known figure in the (43.8 percent , 4.8)
- Petrovi, Drazen (43.7 percent , 2.0)
- Jason Kapono (Jason Kapono) is a (43.4 percent , 2.1)
With the exception of Petrovi, none of those players were the offense’s primary weapon. Kerr made an average of 4.7 shots per game from all distances.
Jordan, on the other hand, was a 32.7 percent 3-point shooter on 1.7 attempts a game. During his 1995–96 return tour, he hit 42.7 percent on 3.2 tries per night, which was his greatest mark for an entire season.
Jordan, on the other hand, played in an era when not everyone on the court could make a 3-point shot. That is an important aspect. Jordan would be a top-notch deep shooter in today’s NBA because of his competitive nature. He’d force himself to become one.
No disrespect to Stephen Curry, but Michael Jordan is the best offensive force.
With an average of 30.1 points per game, Michael Jordan (L) is the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. Stephen Curry (R) should, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, be considered the greatest offensive player in NBA history. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport | Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson
Michael Jordan wasn’t known for his 3-point shooting, but he had his moments (see the Shrug Game). He was, however, the most complete offensive talent the NBA has ever seen. He could drive, attack the rim, and develop a variety of midrange moves. He was also a great free throw shooter.
Stephen Curry, on the other hand, is an instant master maker for himself and others. Few shooters are able to catch and fire as rapidly as he can when they emerge from behind a screen.
However, it’s difficult to go against the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game as an overall offensive powerhouse. Jordan, at 30.1, is the one. Curry is 20th on the list with 24.2 points per game.
Stephen Curry is one of the best offensive players in the NBA. He isn’t, though, Michael Jordan.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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When Bill Belichick was hired by the New England Patriots in 2000, he was the second-youngest head coach in the NFL, and the youngest to lead a Super Bowl–winning team. In fact, he was just as young as Michael Jordan when he won his first NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1991.. Read more about did michael jordan ever lose in the finals and let us know what you think.
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