Throughout much of his 15 seasons in the NBA, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan was one of the most productive and dominant players in the league. The latter portion of his career saw him truly earn the recognition as being one of the greatest players that the league has ever had. Since he stepped away from the league for the third and final time more than a decade ago, there are lingering questions about how he would have done agianst today’s talent. That is something that Jordan recently responded to that query.
Michael Jordan’s legacy
Throughout the better part of the last three decades, Jordan has been held as being the greatest player to play in the NBA.
All of that was backed by what he did on the court as he compiled numerous accolades such six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five regular-season MVP awards, 14 All-Star selections, fourth on the all-time scoring list, a Defensive Player of the Year award, 10 All-NBA First team nods, nine All-Defensive FIrst team selections, and 10 scoring titles among other things.
Jordan took his game to the next level in the playoffs, reaching that 13 times in his career where he averaged at least 30 points on 12 occasions, scored 50 or more points eight times, and won an NBA title in each of his six trips to the Finals where he never played in a Game 7. His performance on the grandest stage only took his legacy to the next level, which many have drawn an enormous amount of inspiration from his play, mentality, and success in his career.
How Michael Jordan believes he would play now
One of the qualities that helped Jordan elevate his game to the next level was his unwavering confidence in his ability.
That is another reason why many have wondered how he would have played against the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jordan has provided an answer to how he believes he would have held his own in today’s game, according to Roderick Boone of the Athletic.
I think you’ve got a lot of different descriptions of how I would play against these guys. I’m pretty sure I would make my adjustments. I think the game would still be played with a sense of passion. I don’t think the passion in the game of basketball has changed. I think the talent’s changed. I think the versatility has changed.
Now, would I have had as much success? We’ll never know. I’ll let you guys speculate on that. But I think my passion for the game would’ve been the same. I love the game of basketball.
There is no questioning Jordan’s passion for the game, but it goes beyond that as his talent and work ethic are what took him to the next level. It would have been quite thrilling to watch him go to toe-to-toe with the best talent currently in the NBA.
Although Jordan didn’t outright say that he will dominate, it’s hard not to think he would have adapted his game with a greater emphasis on his outside shooting to stay at the top of the list. He was a tremendous talent that could have played in any era and have his way there.
Would Michael Jordan have dominated?
It’s hard to envision any other path than Jordan excelling at an elite level in today’s game. Many factors would play in his favor now that he didn’t have during his time in the league.
Things such as no hand checking by opposing defenses would have allowed him to experience much of what Harden has done offensively. Meanwhile, fouls have come more frequently than during Jordan’s time that would have seen him head to the free-throw line much more often.
The components are in place for Jordan’s talent and work ethic to find success in today’s game, but like the Hall of Famer has stated, that is something we will never honestly know how it would have played out. That said, it’s something that will always create a deal of debate for years and years to come.