This ESPN feature on Michael Jordan just continues to produce gems, doesn't it? Towards the end of the piece, senior writer Wright Thompson talks about Jordan watching a Charlotte Bobcats game when the announcer introduces yet another LeBron James/MJ comparison. That conversation leads to Jordan revealing that he studies LeBron and has found a flaw in his game.
When LeBron goes right, he usually drives; when he goes left, he usually shoots a jumper. It has to do with his mechanics and how he loads the ball for release. "So if I have to guard him," Jordan says, "I'm gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he's gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he's going to the hole and I can't stop him. So I ain't letting him go right."
For the rest of the game, when LeBron gets the ball and starts his move, Jordan will call out some variation of "drive" or "shoot." It's not just LeBron. He sees fouls the officials miss, and the replays prove him right. When someone shoots, he knows immediately whether it's going in. He calls out what guys are going to do before they do it, more plugged into the flow of the game than some of the players on the court. He's answering texts, buried in his phone, when the play-by-play guy announces a LeBron jump shot. Without looking up, Jordan says, "Left?"
Hmm. Guess we're going to have to take a closer look at James next time he steps onto the court.
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