Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are 2 of the best scorers in the NBA – adjusted to today’s pace no one would outscore them.
In their peak seasons, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were scoring over 35+ points a game. Jordan scored an incredible 37.1 points in 1987, and Kobe 35.6 in 2006. These two seasons are the most anybody has scored in the last 45 years. Kevin Durant and James Harden may be considered great scorers, but they wouldn’t hold a candle to the two legends.
The only difference between the two seasons was that one was played in an age where the pacing of the game was slower than in the rest of the eras. Kobe did it at a time when a lot of iso-ball was played, and the number of possessions was limited. The total was almost a whole 8-10 possessions lesser than today’s game per 48 minutes.
Surprisingly, back in 1987, the game was much faster than in the mid-2000s, playing almost at the same pace as today. The major difference is they didn’t make as many threes back then. Which is crazy, considering how MJ scored 2 more points despite not taking that many threes. Talk about efficient scoring!
Adjusting every season to the 2022 pace, only two players would average at least 38 PPG:
2006 Kobe Bryant: 38.2
1987 Michael Jordan: 38.0 pic.twitter.com/9Gyw416uuD
— Tupac (@TupacAG) May 23, 2022
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were not only great scorers – they are the only two players to be selected for multiple All-Defense teams as well
These two not just outscored almost everyone, they stopped people with great efficiency as well. They have 18 All-Defensive first teams between them. They would be unstoppable in today’s NBA, being the two-way superstars that they were.
— Skeletor (@theskeletor917) May 23, 2022
Even if we exclude the defense factor for a minute, scoring in today’s era is easier than in the times they played in. Sure they would have to adjust their game a little, but they’d cope very easily. They are students of the game, and they would require no more than a couple of months to change their style.
If big men can make threes in today’s game, these two shooting guards would be easily making about 4 a game. Move over Steph Curry, the SG duo would be making those jaw-dropping shots.
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were putting people in the blender even when the game was slow – why wouldn’t they torch the defenses today?