Bill Walton kicked up a storm behind an ESPN microphone Wednesday night, saying that Michael Jordan – who some consider the best player in NBA history – was just "basically average."
The comments came as Walton appeared to be trying to pay Jordan a compliment while chiding his broadcasting partner Dave Pasch in the final moments of a game on Wednesday, noted the Huffington Post.
"What I loved about Michael Jordan was his commitment to the team, his emphasis on physical fitness, footwork, fundamentals and his ability to figure out how they're going to get the job done," Walton told Pasch. "Because Michael, face it – the guy was basically average in terms of size, strength, speed, jumping ability, all the things that you seem to think make a great player. That guy was just a tremendous visionary like Thomas Edison – he turned the lights on."
Pasch reminded Walton of Jordan's incredible leaping ability and the highlights he created during the NBA dunking contest, but Walton never backed down from his assessment, noted the Huffington Post.
"Games Walton calls for ESPN are becoming must-watch TV for some not-so-great reasons," Andrew Holleran, of College Spun wrote
about Walton's comments.
"It's hard to remember the last time someone called Michael Jordan average. Enter Bill Walton," wrote Jasmine Watkins of The Sporting News
. "Everyone has their favorites but if Jordan isn't at least in your top three, it may be time to reevaluate your life. The fun didn't stop there as Walton went on to call the six-time NBA champion 'average.' Yes, you read that correctly."
Others blasted Walton's comments on social media.
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