Thursday, May 23, 2024

Michael Jordan Gives Opinion On League’s Youngest Superstar Amid Comparisons To G.O.A.T.

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This morning on ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith was discussing one of the NBA’s youngest and brightest stars and had phoned a special guest for his opinion. Who Smith called “the G.O.A.T.,” Michael Jordan, weighed in on the latest youngster to crack the ranks of NBA elites. Leading his franchise to its best season in 20 years and his second NBA All-Star selection in his first four seasons, who has caught Jordan’s eye, and will he live up to the hype?

Anthony Edwards, “That Brother Is Special”

After leading the third-seeded Timberwolves past the sixth-seeded Suns in the first of what looks like a long first-round battle between these two, Edwards immediately made his case for the best shooting guard in the series and the league. Posting a game-high 33 points alongside nine rebounds and six assists, Edwards was the best player on the floor from start to end. At only 22 years old, he’s made it clear several times that the face of the NBA is his to lose over the next few years.

Phoenix and Minnesota will meet again tonight for the second game of the series, and Edwards will be leaned on heavily to repeat his dominant performance. All eyes have been on his evolution since being drafted first overall from the University of Georgia. Many have equated his pace and demeanor on the court to Jordan’s. While he may not have the accolades that Jordan does, his athleticism and competitive fire are undoubtedly the closest thing the league has seen to the greatest ever to do it.

Around The Western Conference – LeBron’s Fading Case For The G.O.A.T.

Last night featured the Denver Nuggets taking a 2-0 advantage on their home floor versus the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James and company once led by 20 points in the second half, becoming the first 20-point blown lead in his playoff career. With only 12 points combined in the fourth quarter of the first two losses, James is losing steam for his case of chasing greatness. That includes missing the most wide-open shot he could have hoped for with a chance to clinch the victory, which led to the Nuggets completing their miraculous comeback via Jamal Murray’s heroics.

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Losing this season would mean no NBA Finals appearances for four seasons, and while the longevity is something to marvel at in James’s case, the championships are seemingly a closed chapter. With the most opportune time to pivot the series’s momentum, steal a game on the road, and cement his ‘killer instinct’ with one of the most clutch shots of his career, he again choked and helped aid the Nuggets to victory. The argument between him and Jordan’s clutch gene is officially over.

The subtle sneaking of Stephen A. Smith repeatedly referring to Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time this morning was no accident one morning after seeing LeBron James yet again fail on the biggest stage. Does Anthony Edwards put himself in the conversation for the league’s best-rising star with a win this round? Is James’s legacy a closed book if he’s first-rounded and misses an NBA Finals appearance for a fourth straight campaign?

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