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Michael Jordan takes every basketball challenge personally, as the sports world learned in The Last Dance docuseries. Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul knew that long before the popular Jordan documentary came out in 2020.

Paul and Jordan have a close relationship since the former is part of the Jordan Brand. When the Chicago Bulls legend conducted his annual Flight School basketball camp for kids, Paul sometimes assisted the campers in drills.

During the summer of 2016 at the camp, Paul issued a major challenge to Jordan with the campers present. As expected, the Bulls icon took it personally and prevented all of the kids from getting free Air Jordans.

Chris Paul challenged Michael Jordan to a shooting drill

During the Flight School camp in 2016, Paul challenged Jordan to a shooting drill. If the six-time champion missed three shots, all the campers would receive free Air Jordans.

Jordan made every shot during the challenge, must to the chagrin of the campers. Even though the UNC product presumably loved all the kids at his camp, the NBA great likely wasn’t ready to give a ton of Air Jordans away for free and lose profit.

While he played for the Bulls and Washington Wizards, Jordan was one of the best — if not the best — mid-range shooters in the NBA. The 10-time scoring champion did most of his damage on two-pointers, hitting 11,611 two-pointers during his Hall of Famer career compared to only 581 3-pointers.

Despite being 53 years old during the 2016 Flight School, Jordan showed Paul and his campers he still possessed his electric shooting touch. MJ’s jumper not only helped him win six titles and six Finals MVPs with the Bulls, but it also aided him to become the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game.

Michael Jordan’s jumper was a thing of beauty

Jordan began to rely on his elite footwork and shooting touch heavily during the Bulls’ second three-peat since he was older and wiser. Instead of driving to the hoop and dunking on everyone, the five-time MVP took more mid-range jump shots and hit them at an incredibly high rate.

From 1996-97 to 1997-98, Jordan shot 49.0% on shots 16 feet from the basket to the 3-point line. He won three consecutive scoring titles in ’96, ’97, and ’98, thanks to his deadly jumper while leading the Bulls to three straight championships.

Jordan is the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game at 30.1. He likely doesn’t hold that record and win 10 scoring titles if he didn’t perfect the art of the mid-range jump shot. Defenders could not stop His Airness from getting to his spot on the floor and rising up for a jumper. All they could do was contest the shot and hope he missed.

Despite analytics telling players to shoot more 3-pointers than two-pointers, several recent NBA players have mastered the mid-range shot as Jordan did, most notably Paul, Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan, and Derrick Rose.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference


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