Michael Jordan may have inspired many players to copy his moves, but his famous one-hand palm fake was something Nick Van Exel took from Julius Erving instead.
Jordan’s signature moves include an array of different combos, fakes, and shot styles including his signature fadeaway which Kobe Bryant later mastered too.
Michael Jordan’s fadeaway was art!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 20, 2020
He was also very popular for his one-handed palm fake that used to completely rattle opposing defenders. It was a move MJ could pull off due to the size of his hands.
Michael Jordan Ball Fakes 🎨 pic.twitter.com/d0B39JwAkT
— Jaycob Ammerman (@Jammer2233) April 23, 2021
However, when Nick Van Exel adopted this move, he said he wasn’t inspired by Michael Jordan, but Julius Erving instead.
Nick Van Exel Reveals Julius Erving Inspired His Ball Fakes Not Michael Jordan
Dr. J or Julius Erving was one of the craftiest players in the basketball world during his time in the league. His iconic baseline scoop in the 1980 Finals lives on as one of the greatest moves in NBA history:
Just like Michael Jordan, Erving also had his own set of ball fakes which he would routinely use to shake his defenders. Erving dominated the league before Jordan did, and in some weird way, former Lakers and Nuggets guard Nick Van Exel revealed that he based his own ball fakes around Erving and not Jordan.
On the ‘Knuckleheads’ podcast with Q and D, Exel spoke up about this:
He begins to talk about about how he adapted the move at around the 39:21 minute mark of the video. Exel may have never been the same caliber of player as Jordan or Erving were, but he certainly goes down in NBA history as one of the best role players.
His best year came later during his career with the Denver Nuggets in the first half of the 2001-02 season when he averaged a solid 21.4 points per game.