Basketball fans have long debated how Michael Jordan would fare in the current standards of the league. With a wide array of players knocking down shots from way downtown, some believe that Jordan, who was not really known for his three-point shooting, would have some problems. But his former Chicago Bulls teammate Jud Buechler begged to disagree.
An easy adjustment for MJ
In recent years, some of Jordan’s former teammates have already stated that there shouldn’t be a debate as MJ is outright the GOAT. However, with fans evolving as well, some have scrutinized the details and speculated that Jordan wouldn’t be able to dominate the game as he lacked the three-point shooting in his arsenal, which has become somewhat of a staple skill of most scorers in today’s game.
According to Buechler, people could make conclusions but having witnessed Jordan’s work ethic first-hand, it wouldn’t be a challenging task for the six-time NBA champ to become a lethal three-point shooter.
“I think the rules, the spacing [would help him]. And Michael was a fantastic shooter and he always made adjustments as he got on in his career to become better and better,” Buechler told Hoopshype in 2020. “And like you said, in today’s game there are so many threes taken, but I think that would be a very easy adjustment for him. If he needed to become a better three-point shooter, that would be easy because he was a very good shooter.”
It would be the opposite
Even more interesting, Buechler delved deeper into what could be a possible scenario had Jordan played in this era. Based on Buechler’s prediction, whether he’s a terrible or effective three-point shooter, Jordan would indeed be doubled. In that case, MJ would be able to find the open guys who could drill three-pointers, and it would happen over and over again.
“With the spacing and the rules, teams would have to double-team him every single time,” Buechler explained. “You’d have to come over and help every single time and if you put three-point shooters around him, those guys would just be knocking down wide-open shots all the time.”
Barring his short stint with the Washington Wizards, Jordan in his prime, shot a total of 33% from beyond the arc. It was decent but not impressive. Nevertheless, he was able to dominate the game.
As for whether his three-point shooting would be a factor had he played in today’s game, no one could really tell. But as Buechler said, Jordan wouldn’t let a setback get the better of him, and he’ll surely work on that. And as MJ’s former teammate, we should take his word for it.