During their ongoing brawl-session, James Harden hinted that the game of Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t require a whole lot of talent. Giannis’ size and athleticism certainly characterize his play on the basketball court. But is there really no skill behind what he’s doing in the league?
In an effort to determine the nature of Giannis’ game, ESPN’s Jalen Rose illustrated what kind of player Giannis would be without his height advantage. With a height of 6’3″, Jalen compared him to Russell Westbrook — a high-energy driver, dunker, rebounder, who would bring 100% effort on a nightly basis.
But, interestingly enough, Rose compares a 6’6″ Giannis to none other than Michael Jordan — to the shock and appall of his peers and the fans.
Jalen Rose really just said Giannis would be comparable to Michael Jordan if he were 6’6…pic.twitter.com/p7LnFq4pNn
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 29, 2020
The whole point of the segment was to describe who Giannis would be (and what he could still do) if he was a different size. Russ is an accurate description because his game, like Giannis, is predicated off energy, athleticism, and attacking the basket.
Jordan could do all those things, but he could also do so much more — much more than Giannis is currently capable of at even his normal height. He had post moves, pull-up jumpers, fadeaways, pump-fakes, and pretty much anything anyone could think of to put that ball in the hoop.
Antetokounmpo’s game isn’t nearly as diverse or well-rounded. And, as expected, Rose received a lot of flack for even trying to make the case.
— Family Guy Burner (@FamGuyBurner) February 29, 2020
I love giannis but Jalen rose should be fired immediately and never work on TV again
— GFC 19 (@Guilher94200111) February 29, 2020
— simba (@DdaGOAT_19) February 29, 2020
You probably went a little too far with that one, Jalen. Even when it comes to a guy as good as Giannis, it’s never wise to compare him against a player as accomplished and dominating as Jordan.
Of course, some find that out the hard way…