Warriors’ Stephen Curry Confronted Michael Jordan on Hall of Fame Dis

Stephen Curry, Warriors

Getty Stephen Curry, Warriors

It was almost two years ago, and Michael Jordan was taking a rare step—he was doing a major national news interview, with NBC’s Craig Melvin. When the subject turned to Warriors star Stephen Curry and his credentials as a Hall of Fame player, Jordan took a hard line: Curry was not yet worthy of induction in Springfield.

“He’s still a great player,” Jordan said. “Not a Hall of Famer yet, though.” As Melvin laughed, Jordan smiled and repeated, “He’s not.”

It was an absurd position, of course, with Curry at the time having won three NBA championships, two MVP awards and two scoring titles. There are plenty of Hall of Famers with less impressive credentials. And when Curry finally got a chance to address the subject with Jordan, as the two hung out at this year’s Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, Jordan apparently relented.

Talking with David Aldridge and Marcus Thompson on The Athletic’s Hoops Adjacent podcast, Curry said, “That was the first question, and they just edited it out. He said, ‘First-ballot, Hall of Fame, no problem.’”

Reasonable for a guy who has averaged 24.2 points on 47.7% shooting and 43.3% 3-point shooting in his stellar 12-season career, don’t you think?

Curry Still Sees Michael Jordan’s ‘Competitive Spirit’

Still, Curry holds Jordan in high esteem, having grown up around the NBA as his father, Dell Curry, etched his place as one of the best shooters of his era—the late 1980s on through the 1990s, the same era Jordan dominated as a player. Dell Curry averaged 12.8 points and shot 42.9% against Jordan’s Bulls in the 1994 NBA playoffs.

Jordan averaged 32.3 points, 49.4% shooting and 47.1% 3-point shooting in that series. Curry still sees that same fire in Jordan now.

“Just that competitive spirit never dies,” he said. “The same killer instinct he had as a player and in business has translated into his presence around the Ryder Cup team and some of the captains and players, and stories he can tell from being there for the last 11 Ryder Cups, stuff like that. Like, that spirit that made him who he is while he was playing basketball permeates everything in life and that’s such a cool kind of concept.”

Stephen Curry Describes His ‘Superpower’

One thing you won’t see Curry do that Jordan did during his NBA career is transform his body. Curry has, over the years, bulked up somewhat, but he remains thin by NBA standards, listed at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. But with his predilection for coming off screens and outhustling defenders, Curry said his focus remains on his conditioning.

As he told the podcast:

At this point, I mean, understanding my physical stature – still 6-3, still a buck ninety – there’s not much to add in terms of how I do things,” Curry said. “It’s all just about being as efficient as possible, with how I move, how the ball moves and where I’m getting my shots at. So I’ll say I just try to do what I’ve been doing even better. That’s always been the kind of approach to the work that I do over the summer. And a lot of it is the mental work, for sure. … trying to anticipate what the season will look like based on the team, and the style of play you want to kind of bring to life. And for me, it’s always conditioning. That’s the biggest thing. Like, I have to, as you get a little older and older in this league, that’s the hardest thing to maintain throughout the summer. So you have to work a little bit smarter every year, especially the way that I play. ‘Cause I cover a lot of ground on the court. It is my superpower out there, to be able to just outrun guys night after night.

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