Everyone is talking about Michael Jordan again because of ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance,’ the documentary series on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the two superstars of the Brooklyn Nets are among the players that have been influenced by Jordan throughout their careers. Both had a lot to say about MJ.
Two points are brought up when comparing Jordan to current NBA superstars. First, the defense was more physical in Michael Jordan’s era and the game was slower, which made it harder to score and that today’s athletes are better and Jordan shot just 32.7 percent from 3-point range in his career while the current NBA relies too much on 3-point shooting. Believe it or not, many “experts” think that Jordan would not succeed in today’s NBA.
Kyrie Irving underwent a procedure on his right shoulder in late February. He had missed 26 games earlier in the season because of this same injury and he evaluated all options during his lengthy recovery period but coming back ended up being even more costly for the talented point guard. Irving was asked about the comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James and this is what he told Hot 97 in 2018:
“All those comparisons are fun to talk about. It’s how intense it gets,” Irving said. “I hope that some individuals see, when they’re watching the games, just the appreciation for what’s happening. Like if someone is playing extremely well, and it’s just like comparisons… Shout out to my man [Boston head coach] Brad Stevens on this. He told me, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ And that right there was one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard.” He then shared his opinion on whether James had reached Jordan status by saying a simple, yet effective “nah.”
Kevin Durant recently talked to ESPN’s Jay Williams on “The Boardroom” and said: “He can adapt his game to anything,” Durant explained. “He would fit in as the best player in the league. That’s what he would be. He would have more possessions to do more things. More space for MJ to go to work. We’ll never know, but for sure he’s a masterful basketball player, and like we’ve been saying his skill level is unmatched.”