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Stop Comparing Anthony Edwards To Michael Jordan

Anthony Edwards, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gregoire

Sportswriters and media members should be embarrassed that they cannot enjoy the NBA as it is. They want it to be the way it used to be that players of today are constantly compared to players of yesterday. Do they miss the players of the past that badly?

The newest comparison they are making to get their nostalgic fix is calling Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards the next Michael Jordan. Their reasoning? Edwards had a couple of good playoff games, so he is practically identical to a player many consider the greatest of all time.

Anthony Edwards, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gregoire

Their First Four Seasons

If Anthony Edwards truly is on the path to being Jordan's equal, logically, his first four seasons should be comparable to MJ, right? Let's start with their rookie seasons. Jordan averaged 28.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.4 steals. He was the NBA's Rookie of the Year, an all-star, and second-team All-NBA.

Edwards averaged 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.1 steals. He was not an all-star or All-NBA and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. As far as their rookie seasons go, Jordan was not only better but also much better. If Edwards was on a path to becoming the next MJ, he was starting way off the pace.

Michael was injured in his second season, but his accomplishments through his first four seasons still dwarf those of Edwards. Jordan averaged 32.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks. He was a three-time All-NBA selection (2x first team), four-time all-star, MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year.

Edwards averaged 22.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks. He was a two-time all-star. He won no awards and did not make the All-NBA or All-Defensive teams in his first four seasons. What started as a gap is a canyon when comparing the two players.

Anthony Edwards, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gregoire


Edwards has scored 40 points a couple of times this year, which is why people who don't follow basketball started making this insane comparison. Through his first four seasons, Jordan's playoff averages were 35.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.3 blocks. He had six games over 40 points, three over 50, including 63 points against the Boston Celtics.

Edwards is averaging 29.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks. He has scored 40 or more points three times and never 50 or 60. The playoffs may not be as big a chasm as the regular season between these two, but the difference is still substantial. It's clear that Edwards is not comparable to Jordan through his first four seasons, no matter how you frame the argument.

Anthony Edwards, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gregoire

Edwards Is Too Far Of The Pace

When we say that a player is the "next" anybody, we are insinuating they will have similar careers when all is said and done. To have similar careers, their careers should start off similarly; in this case, they haven't. Not only is Edwards not on the same track as Jordan, he's in a completely different universe.

Instead of trying to make every player in 2024 represent a player from your childhood, just enjoy them for what they are. Embiid is not Shaq, he's Embiid. Giannis is not Barkley, he is Giannis. Anthony Edwards is not Michael Jordan, he's Anthony Edwards, and that's OK. Anthony Edwards is a really great player. Maybe we should enjoy what he is instead of comparing him to what he isn't.


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