Anthony Edwards showing signs of Jordan, Kobe-level greatness


Highlights Anthony Edwards has the potential to be the next Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant with his scoring ability, athleticism, and progress in his career.
Edwards’ stats over his first four seasons are comparable to Jordan and Bryant, showing his all-around skill and efficiency.
What sets Edwards apart is his competitive mentality, reminiscent of Jordan and Bryant, with a hunger for success and a fearless attitude on the court.
Over the years, one of the burning questions the NBA community always ponders is, “Who is the next Michael Jordan?”. Given his status as the GOAT, this question isn’t that surprising. However, very few have actually lived up to that billing. Players like Jerry Stackhouse, Grant Hill, and Vince Carter were all names that were once thrown around, but the one who embodied both the skill and mentality of His Airness was none other than Kobe Bryant.
The Black Mamba has long been hailed as the second coming of Jordan, or his carbon copy. His style of play, from the way he handled the ball to the way he sank his mid-range jumpers was eerily similar to MJ’s. He was the perfect clone of the six-time NBA Champion, and none could deny it. But, following Kobe’s retirement in 2016, very few names have presented themselves as worthy successors to the title. LeBron James is a good shout, but he’s on his own path. Andrew Wiggins was considered by many to be the next Kobe, but that didn’t pan out. So, who could be the next iteration of Jordan and Kobe?
Well, there are several candidates. Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum have both made names for themselves in their NBA careers so far. But, one up-and-coming star who looks all set to take over the league, and has the skill and mentality of the two greats to boot, is Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards.
Edwards is proving to be a top-tier athlete and scorer, just like his predecessors
One of the things that makes Edwards the perfect candidate to take up the mantle left behind by Jordan and Bryant is his propensity for scoring. Over his first three seasons in the NBA, Edwards has proven himself to be a prolific scorer, and now in his fourth season, he is taking things to a whole new level. Eleven games into the season, and he is currently in the top-10 in terms of scoring, averaging 26.3 points per game.
Additionally, much like his predecessors, he seems to be a natural scorer, capable of creating his own shot and making it from almost anywhere on the court. What’s more, he is also freakishly athletic, a trait that both MJ and Kobe shared. All one would have to do is look at his stats over the last four seasons, to see that he is progressing at a rate similar to the two legends, essentially, putting him on the path to perhaps one day being placed in the same category as them.
Fourth Year Statistics PTS TRB AST FG% 3PT% Michael Jordan 35.0 5.5 5.9 53.5 13.2 Kobe Bryant 22.5 6.3 4.9 46.8 31.9 Anthony Edwards 28.4 6.2 5.4 48.7 36.1
Granted, based on their Year 4 stats, there is a visible difference between how Jordan performed compared to the other two. But, that is compensated for by his abysmal three-point shooting percentage. A sign of the times, so to speak. Nevertheless, there can be no denying that their all-around statistics are eerily similar. It’s clear to see that the scoring, rebounding, playmaking, and general efficiency are there across the board.
Standing at 6-foot-4, Edwards is a tad bit shorter than both Jordan and Bryant, who both stood at 6-foot-6. However, when it comes to his scoring and athleticism, he is right up there with them. But, is that the only thing that makes him so similar to them?
Edwards is as competitive as they come
The scoring, athleticism, and physical aspects aside, Edwards has a lot going for him when it comes to perhaps one day being considered the newest carbon copy of Kobe and Michael. But, perhaps the most important thing that sets him apart from all the other candidates is his unique mentality and equally high level of competitiveness.
Both Jordan and Bryant were known for their love of competition. They never backed down from a challenge and often rose to the occasion and overcame their opponents. What’s more, they never let anything get to them, and, as such, were renowned for their focus and mentality. Heck, the Black Mamba was feared across the league for his patented “Mamba Mentality”. A mentality that let him take no prisoners and block out all the noise surrounding him.
Well, from the looks of it, Edwards has developed a mentality of his own. Coming into the league, the Ant-Man was already extremely competitive. Fortunately, he has maintained that degree of competitiveness despite playing on a somewhat lackluster Timberwolves team these past four years. In fact, if anything, his hunger for success has only grown, as he looks eager to make it to the Playoffs and take on the best the league has to offer.
On paper, Edwards clearly has everything he needs to be the next Michael Jordan or the next Kobe Bryant. However, it’s a well-known fact that basketball, nay, sports in general, is a fickle business. Now, all one can do is hope he lives up to the expectations that others have for him and he has for himself.
Read More: Minnesota Timberwolves: How ‘people within organisation’ really feel about Anthony Edwards


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