KEY POINTS

  • Michael Jordan said not everybody can hit big shots
  • Jordan believes that pressure and doubts affect a player's confidence during crunch time
  • Jordan admitted that he practiced harder than he played

Michael Jordan has explained why some of the players in the NBA today just can’t hit game-winning shots.

The name Jordan has been synonymous to “airness” and “hangtime.” But the other fashionable way the GOAT is remembered for in his career was being ruthless in hitting game-winning shots. In fact, Jordan shattered the NBA title dreams of some of the best players of his era by hitting the most important shots in the NBA Finals.

When Jordan first decided to call it a career in 1998, a new breed of NBA players have had their own versions of game-winning moments. However, the legacy of a Jordan winning shot still lives and to this day, no player was able to match the intensity and beauty of just one of MJ’s countless expertise.

One of the most notable quotes in ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan’s piece about how NBA players handle pressure was Jordan’s statement about “big shots.” According to the NBA icon, hitting big shots is a “self-fulfilling prophecy” and a tremendous amount of confidence is needed to perform one.

"Some guys in the league right now, their regular seasons are different than the playoffs. Why is that? Because it's a different kind of pressure. Those guys, when it gets stripped down, don't believe in themselves. They aren't sure they can hit the big shot, so they can't. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy," Jordan explained.

More importantly, Jordan emphasized that it is normal to feel the “pressure” and have “doubts” about a shot. This is also the reason why he urges players to go back to basics and practice the same shot over and over again.

"If you have doubt or concern about a shot, or feel the 'pressure' of that shot, it's because you haven't practiced it enough," Jordan said.

"The only way to relieve that pressure is to build your fundamentals, practice them over and over,” he added.

All throughout his stellar career, Jordan seldom “choked” during playoff games. He has broken NBA records and made history over and over again by always competing at his best. But just like other great athletes, MJ stated that he also became who he is today because of hardwork. As per the legend, he “practiced harder than he played” until his body learned comftably react to any kind of pressure during games.

"People didn't believe me when I told them I practiced harder than I played, but it was true. That's where my comfort zone was created. By the time the game came, all I had to do was react to what my body was already accustomed to doing," he shared.