(106.7 The Fan) - A new generation of fans are getting to experience that greatness that was Michael Jordan with ESPN's 10-part documentary 'The Last Dance.'
As it's reignited the Greatest Of All Time debate, Jordan's longtime agent, David Falk, maintains there's really no debate to be had.
"I watch a lot of NBA games, as you know, and the game evolves," Falk told The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. "And Michael, because he's such a class act, completely steers away from trying to compare himself to LeBron, or Kobe or anybody else. He says that's for the fans to do."
"But if you asked me, watching all those games," he continued, "with virtually zero defense, no hand-checking, I think if Jordan played today – if he was in his prime in today's rules – I think he'd average between 50 and 60 a game. I think he'd shoot 75 percent from the floor. If you couldn't hand-check him, he'd be completely unstoppable."
The second we first learned about this documentary on Christmas, I knew this shit was going to happen. While I was interested to see all the never before seen footage and hear some never been told before stories, I dreaded the hot takes like this shit that would soon follow. Nobody is saying Jordan isn't the GOAT, he is. LeBron fans are just going to have to deal with that reality. But at the same time quotes like David Falk's and takes like that from Get Up ruin his greatness for me. To say that Jordan would average 50-60 points in today's NBA is utterly ridiculous. I'm not even totally sold on Jalen's 47.5. There's so much talk about the physicality difference between eras and that's why Jordan would score that much more and there's only one problem with that idea. What about the fact that players are bigger/faster/stronger in today's NBA? Sure you can't hand-check but there are better athletes in today's NBA. Defense was more physical back then but not exactly "better". You look at scoring averages from both eras, they are basically the same.
But like I said, I expected those takes and I'm willing to look past them. It's what Wilbon said though that really drives me nuts.
The idea that no player in today's NBA would dominate the 80s/90s is about as laughable as it gets. Most people have LeBron in the top 5 players IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA, yet he wouldn't be dominant in that era? Well if that's true, how can he be a top 5 player? Kevin Durant, you know, the best scoring wing maybe ever, couldn't be effective? He does shit offensively that those 80s/90s defenses have never seen. This take suggests that Jordan would dominate no matter what era he played in, but two of the most unstoppable players era could only succeed in today's NBA? I don't usually hate on olds who glorify their own eras but this shit bothers the hell out of me. It's possible to say Jordan would be just as effective in today's NBA and also admit that the physical specimens we see in today's NBA would be just as good playing in the 80s. If we're talking all time greats here it's outrageous to think they couldn't adapt to the times at an elite level.
For example, Karl Malone was 6'9 250 and played during this glorified era and was putting up monster numbers. You could say he dominated the 90s. So he can do it but someone like LeBron who is also 6'9 250 (allegedly) couldn't, despite being the better player? How does that make any sense. Wings of that era like Dr. J (6'7, 210), Dominique Wilkins (6'8, 215), etc all "dominated" and didn't have anywhere close to the offensive game of Kevin Durant (6'10, 240). Whether your talking about Jordan, LeBron, Durant, these are generational talents who would be the same if not better no matter when they played. That's what makes them all time greats.
I understand this type of shit was inevitable as soon as the documentary hit the masses, but it's OK to admit that really good players would be good no matter the era. That doesn't take away from what MJ did.
Rant over. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.