This weekend was Week 3 of the five-week journey that is ESPN’s Michael Jordan-driven documentary The Last Dance. With it came a bunch more information and highlights for Paul Pierce and his ESPN colleagues to re-live from Jordan’s career.
I Love 90s Basketball focused on the best dunks of MJ’s career. Check them out.
In watching those highlights, The Truth came to a conclusion it took the league years to reach.
“He dunked on every center in the league it feels like,” Paul surmised. “It’s just like you lose all thought process when Jordan drove to the hole, and then you end up as a poster.”
The NBA Countdown crew then analyzed how MJ’s impact might have been even greater in the current NBA landscape. Michael’s agent David Falk recently suggested that prime Jordan would’ve averaged 50-60 points per game with the freedom of movement rules in today’s NBA and The Truth concurred, though he admitted 50-60 points per game would be pushing it.
“His numbers would definitely be inflated. He would evolve into this era,” Paul said. “You would see a Jordan shooting more threes. He would definitely evolve. He averaged 35 at one point, I could see him really pushing at the 40. I don’t know about 50-60, but mid-40s, I could see that.”
Watch Paul, Maria Taylor, Jalen Rose and Jay Williams discuss it below.
On The Jump, they focused on MJ’s impact off the court. Last Thursday, Paul, Rachel Nichols and Kendrick Perkins delved into MJ’s cultural and economic impact through his endorsement deals.
“Shoe game…he had me going to McDonald’s more. I wanted to even work at McDonalds,” Paul said. “Just his off the court presence, everyone wanted to watch Michael Jordan, what was he doing? I bought Wheaties because of Jordan… not only did people want to be like him on the court, but off the court you wanted to just be as close to him as you could.”
Trying to be Like Mike even turned an adolescent Paul Pierce into an entrepreneur, as he told Rachel and Perk. Watch below.
Finally, on Monday’s episode of The Jump, Rachel, Paul and Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady reacted to this past Sunday’s episodes of The Last Stand, including the media and personal scrutiny that led Jordan to retire the first time.
“He had to manage so many different things and to be able to come out on top and be the greatest basketball player in all of our eyes, it’s truly amazing, despite all of the distractions,” Paul said. “I was never on the level of Michael Jordan, even in the social media era, but you have to imagine how difficult that was just to concentrate sometimes.”
Watch Paul, T-Mac and Rachel discuss the pressure on MJ to perform and be a role model at the same time, below.