Michael Jordan is a man who is known as the G.O.A.T , Air Jordan, his Airness, and so many other nicknames. He changed the landscape of basketball in the United States, and over seas. Unfortunately, we will never see another Michael Jordan, because he was a once in a lifetime type of player. The things Jordan could do on and off the court were intriguing, and mesmerizing. We can all remember a time in our driveways counting the clock down from 5 to hit that game winning jumper, that we just saw Jordan do the night before on T.V.. Great times it was, and it’s sad to think that Jordan era in basketball is over, and we will never see a player like him. However, we do see players in the NBA with styles of Michael Jordan in them!
Mid Range Master: Devin Booker
The mid-range jumper is a lost art now a days. Many players focus on the art of shooting threes. Michael Jordan was the master of turn around Jumpers, and jab step one way drive into the middle of the lane and pull up. Devin Booker is a young up and coming superstar in the NBA today, at the age of 23 where most players in the NBA are trying to shoot Steph Curry type shots, Booker leans more towards getting to the hoop and pull up jumpers. Booker is shooting 47.3% from 10-16 feet from the basket. What makes Booker such an elite mid range shooter is his great release point on his shot, and great first step to get around the initial defender. Booker like Jordan loves the leaning Jump shot right around the free throw line, and shoots it very efficiently(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S83Vknoo8PE). Booker is easily one of the top mid range shooters in the NBA, and if you watch part of the video above you will see the Jordan jumper comparison!
plays at the rim: Ja Morant
Ja Morant like Jordan drives in the lane jumpes out of the gym for a second, while in the air decides what kind of move he wants to make on his defender and makes him look silly and finishes. The craftiness, and hand-eye coordination from Morant is spectacular. We all remember when Jordan went up for a right handed layup and then mid-air switched to his left hand, that is the kind of plays Morant can make. When he is dribbling full speed down the court and goes right into two huge defenders we all are on the edge of our seats because, we know something magical is about to happen. The difference between Morant going into defenders and finishing compared to Jordan doing it, is Mordant doesn’t have the bad boys slamming him to the ground and getting away with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p_9PRgJASw first play on this highlight video will show you exactly why he is the perfect candidate for the finisher comparison to Jordan.
Tough Love: Jimmy Butler
Jordan was a player who expected you to give your best, he showed tough love, but also gave credit when it was earned. Some say he was an a$$ hole, but really he was being a great leader, and if he had not been that way, they may have never had the dynasty that they had. Jimmy Butler is the easy comparison to the tough love moto. Butler like Jordan will never ask his teammates to do something that he isn’t willing to do. Butler has that alpha dog mentality where he will get in your face and tell you how it is, he believes he is the badest dude on the court, and doesn’t care if you like him or not. He expects his teammates to give it 110% and if you’re not he will let you know. Just like when he was in Philly and ran with the backups vs the first unit, and beat them off the floor, talking trash the whole time. Butler and Jordan do this because they want the team to be the best, and winning comes with a price. Someone has to be a leader and like Jordan, Butler is that guy!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7LadZA7UPE
Clutch: Kyrie Irving
MJ is known for his clutch moments, and big shots. If you made a go ahead basket but left time on the clock, you were never safe. You could see it in his eyes that he loved having the ball in his hands when it meant the most. Irving loves the last second shot and the big moments. We saw this to be true in the eastern conference finals, and the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cavs. If he is down one with 10 seconds left and the ball is inbounded to him at the top of the key, we know what is about to happen. Dribble, dribble, crossover, side step, game! He has tons of big shot moments in his career already, and instead of just talking about it, watch this video and it will show you why he is the closest comparison to Jordan when it comes to clutch! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AOU4dG2Y9o
In the End
MJ is the greatest of all-time, and we will never have another player like him. We will always see some traits that he had rub off on other players, but nothing just like him. The closest player to playing and being just like him was Kobe Bryant. Kobe had all the same moves, and mentality. Kobe took games over like Jordan did, was never scared of the moment. He expected greatness from everyone, and was always the hardest worker on the team just like Jordan. You could easily see Kobe looked up to Jordan and emulated his game, like so many try emulating Kobe today. Lebron is a great basketball player, he is big, strong, athletic, and can do it all. However, watching him compared to Jordan, I don’t get that feeling of win at all cost, no moment is to big, push everyone to be great even if they will hate you for it. But that’s okay, because no matter what he will never be Air Jordan, he will always be a step behind! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReyHfN-NMpo