Kersey breaks down Jordan's impact on offense
If you were a Portland Trail Blazers fan back in the day, you knew how important Jerome Kersey was for that team during all those playoff and championship runs. The Blazers had a decent team for several years, but they were competing against some legendary teams during that time, with the Chicago Bulls being one of them. Micheal Jordan played one of the best series of his career against the Blazers that year, with Clyde Drexler and Jerome Kersey switching turns on him to try and slow him down. Despite all their efforts, Jordan averaged almost 36 points per game which proved there was none on the Blazers that was able to stop Jordan from securing his second straight NBA championship.
Kersey came into the NBA in the same year as Jordan, so throughout the years, he had quite a few matchups against Jordan. He understood what made Jordan a unique player who had numerous ways to hurt you on offense. But, Kersey learned there are a few ways to slow down Jordan but not completely stop him from scoring.
"For me, individually, guarding Michael Jordan was as hard as anything you could do on the court. I think there are a few things you can't give him. First, you can't give him the jump shot. Second, you can't give him the right hand. You probably want to push him to his left if you can ideally, you don't let him go; either way, you stay in front of him. You don't want to give him a lane to the middle where he can break your defense down. With a great player like that, sometimes, you just have to live with what he is going to get. If the star is going to get enough shots, he is going to make a lot of them. You just don't want them to be easy ones."
Jerome Kersey passed away way too early
It's always great to hear what other NBA players had to say about guarding Jordan because they always had insightful comments based on their actual experience. Jerome Kersey was an absolute legend of the Blazers, with whom he spent most of his career. He was an outstanding NBA professional who finally won an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999. Unfortunately, he suddenly passed away in 2015 at the age of 52 after a blood clot that traveled to his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.