Christian Laettner On Difference In Effort With Michael Jordan And Today’s Kids: “If You Don’t Let Them Shoot Three-Pointers They Cry”

Christian Laettner recently shared his insights on the often-overlooked defensive prowess of basketball legend Michael Jordan, particularly emphasizing the significant effort Jordan dedicated to that aspect of the game.

Christian Laettner On Difference In Effort With Michael Jordan And Today's Kids: "If You Don't Let Them Shoot Three-Pointers They Cry"

“My first impression of Jordan and my lasting impression of Jordan is how much effort he put forth on the defensive end. People don’t talk about that enough, but you got to remember, I think he was first-team all-defensive team what eight, ten, 12 years.”

“People don’t stress that enough. I coach basketball nowadays, Dan, with middle school and high school players, and I don’t have time on the court to teach the kids defense enough.”

“You’re only practicing with them once or twice a week, and you’ve got to work on offensive stuff. And if you don’t let them shoot three-pointers, they cry. And if you don’t let them do the stupid euro step, you know, they complain and all this stuff.”


“Well, how about some defensive drills and some defensive work? And Michael Jordan was the greatest defender also. And look at the effort Kobe Bryant put forth on the defensive end. And that’s where the differences are made.”

“The small little things in the game that make a huge difference. Playing defense hard, playing defense the right way.”

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Laettner highlighted Jordan’s defensive contributions, a facet of his game often overshadowed by his scoring feats. Despite Jordan’s stellar defensive record, which includes 10 NBA All-Defensive First Team selections and a Defensive Player of the Year award in 1988, his defensive excellence is frequently eclipsed by his offensive achievements.

In discussing Jordan’s defensive acumen, Laettner drew attention to the disparity between Jordan’s defensive commitment and the current attitudes prevalent among today’s youth basketball players. As a coach himself, Laettner expressed frustration over the lack of emphasis on defense during training sessions, noting the tendency for players to prioritize offensive skills, such as three-point shooting and flashy moves like the Euro step, over fundamental defensive drills.

Laettner’s observations underscore a broader trend in contemporary basketball culture, wherein defensive fundamentals often take a backseat to offensive prowess and highlight-reel plays. Despite Jordan’s legacy as one of the greatest defenders in NBA history, the value of defensive excellence appears to be diminishing in the eyes of many aspiring young players.

Moreover, Laettner’s remarks serve as a reminder of the enduring legacy of players like Jordan and the importance of recognizing their multifaceted contributions to the game. Beyond his scoring prowess and highlight-reel dunks, Jordan’s commitment to defense exemplifies the holistic approach to basketball excellence that defined his illustrious career.

Laettner’s reflections on Michael Jordan’s defensive legacy offer a poignant reminder of the timeless virtues of hard work, dedication, and attention to detail—values that transcend generations and continue to shape the future of the sport.


Integrating Extensive Defence Drills From A Younger Age Can Help Balance Offensive Brilliance

In today’s NBA, offensive brilliance is at an all-time high, with an abundance of extraordinary athleticism and unparalleled skill sets on display. The league’s emphasis on three-point shooting and spacing has revolutionized offensive strategies, leading to historic scoring outputs and individual performances. However, amidst this offensive renaissance, the importance of defensive proficiency often takes a backseat.

For the younger generation of basketball players, the allure of scoring flashy layups and three-pointers often overshadows the fundamental aspects of defense. Yet, integrating extensive defensive drills from a young age could prove instrumental in nurturing a more balanced approach to the game.

While offensive prowess may garner attention, the value of defense should not be underestimated, especially in a league where defensive specialists are increasingly coveted. By instilling defensive principles early in a player’s development, coaches can cultivate a deeper understanding of defensive rotations, footwork, and positioning.

Moreover, emphasizing defense from a young age instills discipline and resilience, qualities that are invaluable on both ends of the court. While offensive skills may come naturally to some, defensive excellence often requires dedication, effort, and a willingness to embrace the less glamorous aspects of the game.

Furthermore, with only a limited number of spots available in the NBA each year, aspiring players must recognize the importance of versatility. While offensive firepower may catch the eye of scouts and recruiters, a well-rounded skill set that includes defensive proficiency can significantly enhance a player’s value and longevity in the league.

In today’s NBA landscape, where offenses reign supreme, defensive specialists are a prized commodity. Players who can effectively disrupt opponents, protect the rim, and anticipate passing lanes are invaluable assets to their teams.

By integrating extensive defensive drills from a young age, aspiring basketball players can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive and dynamic basketball landscape. Ultimately, a balanced approach that prioritizes both offensive brilliance and defensive tenacity is essential for sustained success at all levels of the game.



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