A clutch shooter himself, San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills took to social media to discuss the great Michael Jordan’s clutch passing.
With ESPN & Netflix’s collaboration documentary ‘The Last Dance’ being the only thing keeping us basketball fans going in this everlasting hiatus, San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills posted his own clip reminiscing about NBA legend Michael Jordan.
In response to a question about what his favorite moments in Jordan’s run were, Mills discussed the way Jordan always knew to trust his shooters in the moments that mattered the most. On multiple occasions, Jordan would defer to players like John Paxson (36.3%, in nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls) and Steve Kerr (47.9 percent in five seasons with Chicago). Kerr himself left a mark in Spurs history, winning two titles with the organization in 1999 and 2003.
Mills went as far as to say that he and a childhood friend would spend hours recreating these moments in their youth with Patty playing off the ball as the shooter. This makes a ton of sense, as Mills has developed into one of the best three-point specialists and clutch shooters at his position in the modern game.
It would be almost impossible to find an athlete in the @NBA who hasn't been influenced by Michael Jordan. But one of my favorite things about Michael Jordan was his ability to learn to trust his teammates – especially in crunch time. Growing up, I would spend HOURS after school studying Jordan's perfect, crunch-time, game-winning passes to Steve Kerr and John Paxson – and re-enacting them over and over with a close friend, until we got them perfect. Thanks @NBA for this awesome video sharing my love for the #23 – with a special cameo by my MVP (most valuable pup) Harvey. Tune in to ESPN tonight at 8:00 CST for episode 5 & 6 of the Bulls + Jordan's documentary #TheLastDance!!
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Jordan influenced players in many different ways during his 15-season-long playing career. Between his impact on sneaker culture, championship-pedigree competitiveness and hours upon hours of highlight reels to his name, Jordan left a mark on just about every player in the league today. Even for the young players who never got to watch him themselves, Jordan influenced their favorite players, so in turn, he shaped them.
No star player has illuminated the league like Air Jordan has and players like Patty will never forget his impact on their early childhood memories of basketball. For many Spurs fans, Tim Duncan holds this same role in their lives, so you can relate to the way that Patty or Tony Parker looks back at MJ’s legacy.
Basketball is about more than just putting a ball in a basket—It’s about making connections between people through the baseline passion for competing and for this game. That’s why Jordan is always going to be remembered as this mythical hero in the eyes of so many basketball fans. We’ll see people begin looking at LeBron James this way by the time it’s all said and done, as the fans in San Antonio do when looking at Duncan.
That leads into a whole different conversation about Duncan being underappreciated compared to his contemporaries, but that’s for another day. For now, enjoy the next installment of The Last Dance and take in some historical basketball to hold you over until the 2019-20 season resumes.