Ray Allen believes Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were equally great shooters from the three-point land, but that wasn't their game, and they wouldn't play the role because they had a totally different perspective on what they could do on the basketball court.
Kobe and Jordan were equally great shooters
In lights of Steph Curry passing him on the All-Time leading three-pointers list, Ray Allen reflected on that experience in his recent interview for the Dan Patrick Show. Allen talked about the hypothetical situation if you put Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in today's era of the NBA. With the trend now active in the league, shooting at least 10 three-pointers is a must if you are a star player on your squad. Allen's reasoning behind his thinking is that as time went by, it just became more acceptable to shoot more and more threes which is the trend that was prevalent in the NBA ever since the Warriors won their first championship in 2015.
Allen believes Kobe and Jordan would have a hard time limiting their offense on just jacking up threes because that wasn't in their DNA, and they had a repertoire of moves on offense they could use. They were both excellent in the post and, as they got older, perfected their shooting but their total game of finding the best spots on the floor to score, no matter where it was.
"I think they were both underrated three-point shooters. When you think about it, if you can do one thing great or a couple of things great, some other things get overshadowed. Mike never really had to shoot threes cause he was so good inside the paint, and Kobe was so good scoring in general. If I had to say between both of them, it's hard because both of them played with their back to the basket. They both were slashers at the rim, and I just don't think their games were designed to sit out there and wait behind the three-point line. Jordan had a better shooting form".
Players are taking more three-pointers than ever before
Essentially, everything Allen said is true, and it's hard to imagine Kobe and Jordan being one-dimensional players in terms of scoring the ball. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with that since Kobe modeled his game studying Jordan and tried to expand it and take it to the next level. Shooting, especially from the mid-range, was their thing, but they developed their three-point shooting as their careers matured.
For the entire career, Kobe was a 33 percent shooter from the three-point land, and his career-high in terms of attempts was in his last season in 2015/16 when the trend started to switch. On the other hand, Jordan is a 32 percent shooter for three for his entire career. Jordan attempted 3.6 three-pointers in the 1996/97 season, which was the most in his career. To put things into perspective, Curry is attempting 13.5 this season, while, for example, Kevin Durant, the all-time leading scorer, is at five attempts per game. KD, in that sense, is more like Kobe and Jordan because of his ability to score the ball in several ways, often using the mid-range or slashing to the basket, but at the same time having a solid three-point shot and almost unlimited range.