Michael Jordan Bashed Stephen Curry’s Playing Style Long Before He Debuted

Published 10/24/2021, 3:03 PM EDT
Michael Johnson #23, shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls prepares to make a shot during a Central Division game in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 1988 – 1989 season at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)


For Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest scorer of all time, making three-point shots was not a challenge. Curry’s 45 point performance against the Clippers showed only a glimpse of how Steph has revolutionized the modern era of basketball. In the first quarter, he went 9 for 9 from shooting including 7 for 7 from the 3-point line. Watching him play now makes it so hard to believe that in the 1990s era of basketball, they considered attempting 10 threes in a single game to be an accomplishment.

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However, Michael Jordan had a proper justification for why he willingly tried to pull his game away from three-point shooting. Especially considering that he still won the scoring title 10 times in his career, despite not preferring to shoot from beyond the arc.

In the 1992 NBA Finals game 1 against Portland, he had 35 points just in the first half. After which, This is what he told a reporter who spoke to him about his three-point shooting.

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Michael Jordan on why three-pointers are not crucial in his game

As opposed to the modern era of basketball, Michael Jordan comes from a generation that is used to brutally competing for the ball inside the paint. Whereas, Stephen Curry added range to his game which revolutionized the modern era of basketball. So why did Michael Jordan dislike shooting from beyond the arc?

“My three-point shooting is something that I don’t want to excel at because it takes away from all phases of my game. My game is a fake drive to the hole, penetrate, dish off you know dunk or whatever.”

It’s not that Michael could not shoot from the three-point line. He had 555 of his 581 total threes for the Chicago Bulls in his entire career. To put that in perspective, Curry already has over 2000 threes and he has only played in 12 seasons.

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How did three-point shooting impact Michael’s games?

“And when you have that mentality as I found out in the in the first game of making threes you don’t go to the hole as much. You go to the three-point line and you start sitting there waiting for someone to find you and that’s not my mentality. And I don’t want to create that because it takes away from my other parts of my game.”

Mar 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrate after winning the NBA All-Star 3 Point Contest at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The polar difference in Michael‘s approach opposed to Curry‘s approach makes basketball beautiful. From unlimited range that extends to the halfway line to quick and unstoppable driving in with the basketball. Shows the spectrum of skills that a guard could possess to be a legend in the league.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Giannis Antetokounmpos Incredible Block, Blake Griffin Emulating Ben Simmons & Other Highlights from Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks Opening Night Game

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

362 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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