Nash says ‘there was a real fear’ when facing Jordan

Aside from Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, Michael Jordan arguably had the most dominant reign of any player in NBA history.

Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash attested to Jordan’s historic run recently on SHOWTIME’s “All The Smoke,” per SLAM’s Ryne Nelson.

Nash’s rookie season was the 1996-97 campaign, and Jordan was coming off his fourth title with the Chicago Bulls. Nash played his first two seasons with the Phoenix Suns, and those seasons coincided with Jordan’s last two championship runs.

“Playing against him, the one thing that I think that he was unlike any other player I’ve played against is that there was a real fear playing against him,” Nash said on the show. “I’ve never seen the league be kind of fearful of a player or have that much reverence for a player.”

Jordan had perhaps reached a statistical peak in the early 1990s, with his career-high in field goal percentage (53.9%) coming during the 1990-91 season, the year of his first title.

But his greatness remained unmatched in the latter part of the decade. He won his last three scoring titles from 1996-98, and he also had some of his best seasons shooting from deep.

The 1995-96 season, when the Bulls went 72-10, Jordan tied for 11th in 3-point percentage. According to Basketball Reference, it’s the only time he’s ranked top 15 in the league for the category. During the 1996-97 season, Jordan shot 37.4% from the 3-point line on a career-high 3.6 attempts a game.

Jordan and his Bulls have been in the spotlight lately because of the captivating documentary, “The Last Dance.” The film, which documents the 1990s Bulls, has harnessed the attention of hoops fans everywhere. Episodes seven and eight will air Sunday night on ESPN from 9-11 p.m.

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