The video clip has gone viral.
On the Today Show, Michael Jordan tells anchor Craig Melvin that Golden State Warriors three-time champ, and two-time league MVP Steph Curry is not a Hall of Famer.
“He’s still a great player, not a hall of famer yet, though,” Michael Jordan jokes about Steph Curry as he tells @craigmelvin he’d keep the same four guys (Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and James Worthy) to play against anyone with pic.twitter.com/tDBQKjDQAa— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 21, 2019
Predictably the internet got into an uproar and everyone is litigating Curry’s Hall of Fame credentials.
But Jordan wasn’t wrong per se in his assessment.
The clip about Curry was taken from a larger conversation that Jordan and Melvin were having about the four guys Jordan would play with and take on anyone. Those players are: Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and James Worthy.
In the clip Jordan says, “When I’m going in the trenches. I’ve played with and against all these guys. I’m going with who I know.”
That’s the central reasoning for Jordan’s position.
He is widely regarded as the greatest player and competitor of all time. He’s the most alpha in that regard. For an ultimate competitor, like Jordan, you have to go with what you know.
Jordan is 56 years old. Steph is 31. Their careers obviously never overlapped.
Of course Curry knows of Jordan through his father, Dell, who competed against Jordan. As well as through the plethora of video of highlights and games that exists.
The same is true for Jordan. He owns the Charlotte Hornets and watches plenty of hoops, so he too is aware of Steph.
But this is what happens as one generation ages and another one ascends. It’s not that Jordan doesn’t respect Curry’s game. He just doesn’t know it, intimately. They’ve never played together or competed against one another. For ballers that’s how they really “know” another baller.
In the end, Jordan is right. Steph isn’t a Hall of Famer yet. But he will be as soon as he retires. That part is semantics.
The better question is, within the Hall, what mythical wing or room will Steph be in? Will he be in Jordan’s? That rarefied club where only those that can make a claim as being The Greatest Of All Time reside? Or will he be somewhere else?
Time will tell.
Photo Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images and Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images