Most people are biased towards Michael Jordan. 99 out of 100 people who watched him play will never say that he’s not the greatest player of all time because of the way he changed the game and made it global.
Jordan’s accolades make it seem like the ultimate hooper. He was a 10-time scoring champion who also won the Defensive Player of the Year so, it doesn’t really get better than that. Does it?
Well, through most of his career, people gave him a hard time because of his subpar three-point shooting. In fact, most young fans who don’t think Jordan’s the GOAT always point out that flaw as the main reason why he wouldn’t thrive in this era.
Once again, they’re wrong. As a matter of fact, Jordan was a better three-point shooter than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and that’s also a fact. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Michael Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game per his career. Also, he has 5 of the highest-scoring seasons in NBA history since the 3-point era, even though he didn’t take that many three-pointers (1.7 per game over his career).
But, when he did pull up from deep, Jordan knocked down 33.18% of his attempts. LeBron James is a 33.15% three-point shooter with 27.1 points per game, while Kobe Bryant was a 33.10% three-point shooter with 25.0 points per game.
Also, Jordan shot 37%, 35%, 42%, and 37% from three in all the seasons he shot over 200 three-pointers. He also shot 38.5%, 38.6%, 38.9%, 40.3%, 19.4%, and 30.2% from deep in the playoffs during his Championship runs.
Jordan never took more than 297 three-pointers on a season. LeBron’s career-high for a season was 406 three-point attempts, while Kobe’s was 415.
MJ averaged only 0.5 three-pointers per game over his career (on 1.7 attempts). LeBron 1.5 (on 4.3 attempts) and Kobe 1.4 (on 4.5 attempts). That’s just the way the game was played but make no mistake, if he had needed to be a three-point shooter, numbers just don’t lie. The only issue with him was not efficiency, but volume. He just didn’t need the three to be a menace in the offensive end.