Metta Sandiford-Artest (formerly known as Ron Artest) was one of basketball's greatest defenders during his heyday, making 4 All-Defensive Teams and even winning a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004.
The point is, there aren't many in the league more equipped to talk basketball -- and defense -- than him.
So when Artest handed heaps of praise to Bulls legend Michael Jordan, going so far as to say he could average 50, it turned a lot of heads:
“Nobody ever scored 50 on me... I think Jordan woulda gave me 50 a couple times. The reason I say that, ’cause even in my prime he had 40 against us, when he was old – HE WAS OLD. I was an amazing defender and Jordan had 40, so I’m like what the h*ll is going on.
Jordan would average 50… if he wanted to. James Harden wants to average 50. He just can't. He got 38. Amazing. If Joordan wants to average 50 and he was playing in this era, I think he averages 50. And that's no disrespect to any of the (current) guys that's killing.”
Michael Jordan was truly unstoppable in his day. In 15 years in the league, he averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game on 49.7% shooting.
He was a 14x All-Star, 11x All-NBA player, 10x Scoring Champ, 5x MVP, and 6x Champion.
As Artest, and many others, have already pointed out, Jordan was torching the league at nearly 40-years-old with the Washington Wizards, a quite unbelievable feat, especially given the physicality and aggressiveness of his era.
Love him or hate him, nobody could stop Mike, not Artest, not Father Time, and especially not the defenders of this era.
The guy was just too good, and it doesn't take a genius to see it.