During a recent interview with Craig Melvin for Today, Jordan, 56, was asked about a wide range of topics including what it’s like being a new grandfather and about the opening of the first of two health clinics that bare his name. But it was famed NBA player’s comment about Curry that caused a social media uproar.
When asked what NBA players he’d select to join his team in a pick-up game, Jordan said he’d stick with Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Worthy — the exact team he picked when he was asked the same question back in 2013.
“I’m going in the trenches. I played against and with all these guys. I’m going with who I know,” Jordan said, defending his choices. “Every single night, their responsibility to go out there and represent greatness, every single night.”
Melvin then asked Jordan if Curry — a two-time NBA MVP and considered one of the most revolutionary players of his generation — should be offended for not having been selected.
“I hope not. He’s still a great player. Not a Hall of Famer yet, though,” Jordan replied with a laugh. “He’s not.”
The comments drew the ire of many who disagreed with Jordan.
“Michael Jordan said Curry is a great player but not a hall of famer yet. I have to disagree,” one Twitter user wrote. “3 NBA titles, 2 MVP’s, 6 time all-star, 6 All-NBA selections, 3 NBA first team selections, and All-Rookie first team. Is he a hall of famer yet to you?”
Magic Johnson even chimed in with a humorous tweet, saying that as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan couldn’t praise Curry or else he’d be fined by the league for tampering (Johnson was fined many times when he was president of the Los Angeles Lakers for complimenting other players).
“Everyone relax. We know Steph Curry is a future Hall of Famer…Michael Jordan couldn’t say it because he would get fined by the league,” Johnson tweeted.
Everyone relax. We know Steph Curry is a future Hall of Famer...Michael Jordan couldn’t say it because he would get fined by the league.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 22, 2019
While speaking with Sole Collector, Curry, 31, took the comments in stride and agreed that he has a lot of work to do before achieving Hall of Fame status.
“I think I’m good, but then I’m never complacent … I know I have more to prove to myself,” he said, according to Complex. “When you hear a guy like that who’s the greatest of all time, it’s kind of funny. Since we’ve been on this stage, we’ve heard a lot of retired guys chiming in on this generation of basketball players and evaluating talent and saying their generation was better and all that.”
“It’s a great conversation for the fans to get in on,” Curry added. “I know I’m in good shape for that, but I still have a lot to prove to myself.”
But Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who played alongside Jordan on the Bulls and has coached Curry since 2014, had his own thoughts on Jordan’s concept of Hall of Fame talent.
“I think Michael has his own version of the Hall of Fame,” Kerr later told reporters. “It’s in his own head … whatever that is, then that’s what it is.”