Metta Sandiford-Artest, who played basketball for the University of Southern California, says Michael Jordan would easily lead the league in scoring if he were playing today.
Metta World Peace, also known as Metta, is a former NBA player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was well-known for his antics on and off the court, which included once claiming that Michael Jordan would easily lead the league in scoring in today’s era. Read more in detail here: metta world peace real name.
A popular debate among NBA fans is who would be successful or unsuccessful if they played in a different period. You’ve undoubtedly heard people say things like, “LeBron James would be a nothing in the 1990s,” or “Bill Russell would be a nobody in today’s age.” Even Michael Jordan is a basketball player who was born in has been asked whether he would be able to play in today’s fast-paced, three-point shooting era.
Sandiford-Artest, Metta, previously Ron Artest and Metta World Peace, disproved Jordan’s ability to thrive in today’s NBA. Indeed, the 17-year veteran thinks MJ could score at will.
Michael Jordan, according to Metta Sandiford-Artest, would top the NBA in scoring.
Michael Jordan (R) would score 50 points per game in today’s NBA, according to Metta Sandiford-Artest (L). | Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images | Image courtesy of MARK D. PHILLIPS/AFP/Getty Images
Sandiford-Artest spoke with Shannon Sharpe on the Club Shay Shay podcast about Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and more. Sharpe asked Jordan, the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year, how many points per game he would average in today’s era.
Sandiford-Artest retorted, “More than James Harden.” “I was a part of the Jordan era, the LeBron, Kobe, Duncan era, and the conclusion of the LeBron, Kobe, Duncan era. I used to play with these guys, and I’ve seen a lot of three-pointers go up. Jordan’s average would be 50.”
“James Harden wants to average 50 points a game, but he can’t. [He can average] 38, which is incredible. But, if Jordan wanted to score 50 points a game, I believe he would have done it in this period. And this isn’t meant to disparage any of the players who are now dominating, such as Kevin Durant and LeBron James. “I mean no disrespect.”
Harden is a three-time scoring champion who led the Houston Rockets to a career-high 36.1 points per game in 2018-19. He’s also averaged 30 points in three of his eight seasons, which is fewer than half of Jordan’s eight.
Jordan has the potential to develop into a three-point shooter.
The three-point shot is one of the most significant changes between Jordan’s heyday and now. The average number of three-point attempts per game in NBA games was 34.6 last season, which was a new best. Meanwhile, Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98 saw just 12.7 attempts per game on average.
Even in an age where outside shooting is more important than ever, Sandiford-Artest thinks Jordan would have easily adjusted.
“Well, practice makes perfect,” Sandiford-Artest said to Sharpe. “When Stephen Curry showed up hitting threes, he completely altered the game. James Harden, on the other hand, did not enter the league shooting like this. Then he went back to work on the step-back. If Harden, who is an incredible player, can average 38 points per game, [Jordan] might average 50.
Jordan was never a reliable three-point shooter, hitting 32.7 percent of his three-point tries on 1.7 attempts a game. He did, however, have his moments from beyond the arc, most notably in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, when he hit six threes in the first half.
Others believe Jordan would be a star in today’s NBA.
Sandiford-Artest isn’t the only one who believes Michael Jordan’s supremacy would still exist today. Kevin Durant claimed Jordan would be the greatest player in the present age in an interview with Jay Williams on The Boardroom.
Durant remarked, “He can adjust his game to anything.” “He’d fit right in as the league’s top player. That’s exactly who he’d be. He’d have more things to do since he’d have more stuff. More room for MJ to work in. We’ll never know, but he’s unquestionably a great basketball player, and as we’ve said, his talent level is unrivaled.”
John Wall stated something similar to Sandiford-Artest about Jordan’s scoring average in an interview for 247Sports’ “Social Distance” segment.
Jordan is scoring 45 points a game and doing whatever he wants, according to Wall. “You are not allowed to touch anybody. You can’t check by hand. “It’s a whole different league.”
Jordan, too, expressed his thoughts on how he would do today. But, contrary to popular belief, His Airness was not as arrogant as you would assume (h/t The Athletic).
“I believe you’ve described how I’d play against these people in a variety of ways. I’m fairly confident I’d make the necessary changes. I believe the game would still be played with enthusiasm. The love for basketball hasn’t altered, in my opinion… Yes, you have younger players as well as older ones. But, in general, you still have to shoot, defend, and make free throws and three-pointers. All of these things are done by you. You have to work as a team, and those things are passed down down the generations.”
In today’s NBA, there will never be a chance for a peak Michael Jordan to score 40 or 50 points. However, today’s players seem to believe that if Michael Jordan were to play in this period, he would still be able to claim the title of GOAT.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
In the NBA Finals, Cedric Ceballos said that the Phoenix Suns used their worst defender on Michael Jordan: ‘He’s going past everyone,’ says the narrator.
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