Many fans wonder how Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan would fare in the modern NBA. Jordan and Kobe played in very different eras, where athleticism and physicality were in greater emphasis. Whereas the modern NBA is more about skill and finesse, especially when it comes to shooting.
The current NBA is built on the three-point shot. No team in the NBA today can be successful without having at least one three-point shooter. The game has been heavily influenced by players like Stephen Curry, who have found great success in the league thanks to their incredible shooting skills.
Curry recently broke the all-time three-point record held by Ray Allen on a historic night at Madison Square Garden. Both Allen and Reggie Miller, the man who Allen surpassed, were there to give Steph his flowers, and capture a picture that had the three greatest shooters in NBA history.
But what is Allen's opinion on how the greats of the previous era would fare in the current NBA? Ray Allen spoke to Dan Patrick on his show recently. In the interview, Patrick asked Allen who he thinks would have been a better shooter between Kobe and Jordan.
Allen responded by saying that both Jordan and Kobe were actually underrated three-point shooters, but focused on other aspects of their game. Their gifted scoring didn't rely much on their shooting, and so he doesn't think they'd shoot much now if they started out in the NBA today (11:41 mark).
“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”.
Jordan would probably rely on his instincts to shoot, as he explained in the past how he relies on his hands to get an idea of how good his shot was. As for Kobe, he did have some experience playing in the NBA as it increased its focus on three-pointers. And clearly, Kobe had respect for players like Steph, who once shot a three in Kobe's face, and Kobe couldn't help but laugh.
Regardless, it is very difficult to imagine how players from a different generation would adapt to the modern NBA. But one thing is for certain: if Jordan or Kobe wanted to shoot more three-pointers, they would have done everything in their power to make sure that they were the best shooters in the NBA, given how competitive they were in their careers.