Michael Jordan hit six 3s in the first half of Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals and later admitted that he wasn’t looking to excel at the skill.
One of the most iconic moments in NBA Finals history has got to be the everlasting image of Michael Jordan hitting his sixth 3 over Cliff Robinson in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals.
and shrugging it off like it were nothing. Jordan in 1992 was a player that was slowly transitioning from the wildly acrobatic version of himself from the 80s to a more refined operator in the mid-range; a skill that he abused from ‘96-98.
However, throughout his career in the NBA, Michael Jordan was never regarded as a marksman from beyond the arc. His best percentage from this range would be the year the Chicago Bulls went 72-10 as he shot 42% on 3.2 attempts per game.
Game 1 of the aforementioned Finals saw Michael Jordan knock down an uncharacteristically absurd amount of 3s, setting the tone for the rest of the series.
Michael Jordan claimed to not want to improve his 3-point shooting.
Funnily enough, after draining six 3s in the first half of Game 1 alone, Michael Jordan would go on to make merely 6 more over the span of five games. Many at the time believed that one half of basketball was Jordan unlocking yet another skill that he could use at any time. This however, was not the case.
“My 3-point shooting is something I don’t want to excel at because it takes away from all phases of my game. My game is a fake, drive to the hole, penetrate, dish off, dunk or whatever,” said MJ.
The art of the mid-range and being able to knock down 3s are two separate things and it’s why guys like DeMar DeRozan today have not been able to push their shot back to beyond the arc. Jordan took full advantage of his mastery over the mid-range and well, it resulted in a second 3-peat so it’s impossible to knock him for not extending his range.