The man with two retired NBA jerseys (since Monday) on the same team, Kobe Bryant, believes he could shoot from anywhere on the court. At 32.9% in career 3-pointers (on 5 546), he said in a recent interview that it was the defenses that forced him to shoot from further away.
In his career, Michael Jordan, his idol, made 32.7% of his 1,778 attempts. According to Bryant, there is no doubt that Jordan would have developed the same ability to shoot from deep if he had played later.
« Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, there was no limit to my range. I could shoot from anywhere. That’s true. I worked for it. But the defenses we faced were also different. In front of me I had zones, I had to move around a lot more than MJ had to. He didn’t need that « range ». I’m sure if he had played in the same era as me, he would have developed it too. » Kobe Bryant via SLAMOnLine
It is indeed a story of the era and the logical evolution of the game, as Steve Kerr also specified recently, no doubt that MJ would have known how to adapt
« These are very similar games. Kobe shoots a lot more 3-pointers. In Michael’s day, 3-pointers were not a big part of the game. I’m sure he would have worked a lot harder on his 3-point shooting if he had played in the current era. » Kerr